Geronimo Aguilar Indicted by Texas Grand Jury
By Louis Llovio
September 21, 2013
Geronimo Aguilar, the disgraced founder and former senior pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center, has been indicted by a Texas grand jury on two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child younger than 14 and on two counts of indecency with a child.
If convicted on the two aggravated sexual assault charges, which are first-degree felonies, Aguilar, who once led raucous church services packed with throngs of loyal followers, could spend the rest of his life in a Texas prison.
The indecency charges are second-degree felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
Aguilar and his attorney did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.
Aguilar was arrested in May when Texas authorities charged him with the sexual assaults on an 11-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister. Authorities allege that the abuse began in September 1996 in the girls’ home, where he’d been invited to live, and lasted about a year.
Friday’s indictment covers only the case dealing with the younger sister, who is referred to in court papers by the pseudonym of Lake Valley. Texas authorities have not presented their case on the older girl.
According to the arrest warrants, Aguilar, then 26, began his sexual relationship with the younger of the two victims in October 1996 while lying in bed between the two girls.
The abuse continued after that with inappropriate touching at the home — and at the church, the warrants say.
Shortly after moving to Grapevine, Texas, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in March 1997, he had sex with the younger girl in the family’s living room, where he was caught by her parents, according to police.
The parents, according to the arrest warrants, have given police a written statement saying that Aguilar admitted having sex with the girl, who was then 12.
Aguilar was put on administrative leave after the arrest and then removed as senior pastor of the South Richmond mega church he’d founded after the warrants graphically detailing the allegations were made public in June.
The ROC, as the church is known, acknowledged last week that “after our former pastor was arrested related to charges in Texas, the board of directors became aware of his multiple extramarital affairs with members of our church and community.”
A spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office was unaware Friday evening when a grand jury would hear the second case.
Aguilar remains free on bond. His next court date has not been set.