RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Pastor Geronimo Scott Aguilar of the popular Richmond Outreach Center in South Richmond has been charged with aggravated sexual battery of a child under 14 in Tarrant County Texas, CBS 6 has confirmed.
The Fort Worth arrest warrant has shown up on the national crime information center database. Recently, a Fort Worth Police Department confirmed to CBS 6 that the 43-year-old Aguilar was being investigated for alleged sexual abuses.
His Richmond attorney, David Carlson, said Aguilar was previously cleared by Texas investigators when two girls initially made the charges in late 1990s.
“Seventeen or so years later, these things have resurfaced, for whatever reasons,” said David Carlson, Aguilar’s attorney. “They’ve decided to proceed with an ex parte investigation. By ex parte, they have listened to one side of the story and have not even afforded him the opportunity to have any input.”
Aguilar has been the target of a Facebook campaign alleging improprieties with girls in this area. Richmond police confirmed recently that they investigated an allegation against Aguilar a year ago, but no charges were filed.
The accusations have caused a rift in the church, with some longtime members leaving.
The Facebook page Richmond Outreach Center Recovery Group has some of their stories and comments: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richmond-Outreach-Center-Recovery-Group/225421840921225
But other ROC members have rallied around the popular pastor, whose organization has been commended by Richmond City Council and Governor Bob McDonnell. He was also cover story of a Style Weekly edition singling out influential residents under 40. Read more about the ROC and its ministries here: http://www.theroc.com/
For the last several years, CBS 6 has aired services recorded at the ROC on Sunday morning as part of our religious paid programming.
The ROC, which has been listed among the fastest-growing churches in the nation, serves some of the toughest and poorest communities in the Richmond area. Everyone from addicts to children from the housing projects participate in events at the church. The church has a wide range of ministries helping recovering addicts and parolees, among others.
Aguilar’s attorney, says they’ll take a careful look at the warrants before commenting further.
Aguilar is not the first member of his family to be embroiled on controversy. Here is a review of a memoir by Geronimo Aguilar’s father: http://biblemadness.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/forgive-me-father-for-i-have-sinned-by-pastor-phil-aguilar/comment-page-1/#comment-89