- Richmond Police Department
- Geronimo Aguilar in a booking photograph released Tuesday by the Richmond Police Department.
Geronimo Aguilar surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at his Richmond home on Tuesday afternoon after authorities in Fort Worth, Texas, issued a warrant for his arrest. Aguilar, who goes by Pastor G, founded the Richmond Outreach Center, a mega-church in south Richmond.
Aguilar is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, according to a statement released Tuesday by Richmond Police.
Aguilar's lawyer, David Carlson, blasted Fort Worth police in a Tuesday night interview with Style. He says the decision to issue a fugitive warrant and take his client into custody was inappropriate because he'd told police Aguilar was willing to cooperate and had hired an attorney to represent him in Texas.
"We would have very easily taken him to Texas," Carlson says. "There was no reason to take him in as a fugitive when it's quite the contrary."
Carlson says a reporter at WRIC-TV8 received and reported news Monday night that the warrant had been issued before Carlson was given notice on behalf of his client. TV8 first reported that investigators had reopened the case that goes back to allegations first made in the 1990s.
"Given the level of cooperation that I had extended to them I would have expected better than that," Carson says. "But now that I know the caliber of what I'm dealing with I'm going to respond and act professionally, accordingly. ... The case is 17 years old. Seventeen."
As we detailed in an article last week, this isn't the first time Aguilar has faced such accusations:
Two sisters took to an online message board in May 2011 to denounce Aguilar... The women's message was persistent and captured Aguilar's attention: They alleged that the spiritual leader had repeatedly molested their 16-year-old niece, according to a pair of civil lawsuits filed by Aguilar in Richmond Circuit Court in August 2011. The lawsuits, each asking for more than $10 million in damages, accuse the women of defaming and inflicting emotional distress on Aguilar. more
Carlson says Aguilar is currently in police custody in Richmond pending a hearing Wednesday. Here's the statement Richmond Police released Tuesday:
The Fort Worth Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) received a report of sexual abuse of a child, from law enforcement officials in Anaheim, California. The allegations were that two females made an outcry of sexual abuse by Geronimo Aguilar. Both victims were juveniles at the time of the alleged offenses and are now adults.
This case was assigned to Fort Worth Police Detective Nash. Detective Nash investigated the case and determined that there was probable cause to believe that Aguilar had committed the offense of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14. After consulting with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, Detective Nash generated two (2) probable cause arrest warrants for those charges, one for each victim.
Due to the age of the victims at the time of the offense, this is an “Aggravated” charge. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14 is a 1st degree felony in the State of Texas and is punishable by 5-99 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Mr. Aguilar surrendered without incident to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at his home in Richmond, Virginia about 4:00 p.m., local time.
No other information will be released at this time.