FORT WORTH — The pastor of a Richmond, Va., church was arrested Tuesday on warrants issued in Fort Worth accusing him of sexually assaulting two girls in the 1990s.Geronimo Aguilar, 43, “surrendered without incident” Tuesday afternoon at his Richmond home, said police Cpl. Tracey Knight, a spokeswoman for Fort Worth police.The arrest was handled by U.S. marshals acting on two probable cause arrest warrants obtained by the Fort Worth police crimes against children unit, Knight said.Knight said two women in Anaheim, Calif., recently reported being sexually assaulted by Aguilar in 1996 and 1997 in Fort Worth, Knight said.“Both victims were juveniles at the time of the alleged offenses and are now adults,” Knight said.Aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison.Knight had no other information about the women or what they were doing in Fort Worth in the 1990s.Aguilar’s lawyer, David Carlson of Glen Allen, Va., said Tuesday evening that his client “denies any wrongdoing.”“The case is 17 years old,” Carlson said. “He was cleared of allegations by your authorities back then.”Carlson said he had hoped that prosecutors would review the case to determine if it was appropriate to send to a grand jury.“Obviously that did not happen,” he said. “Instead we learned at 5 p.m. last night that there would be arrest warrants.”Carlson said Aguilar was in Fort Worth during the mid 1990s to help start a small mission, but he relocated to Richmond for other opportunities.Aguilar is senior pastor of Richmond Outreach Center in southwest side Richmond. He is married and the father of five, according to the church’s website, which says he founded the church in 2003 out of his “passion for the lost and the inner city.” A May 3 letter to church members, posted on the website, acknowledged that Aguilar was under investigation by Fort Worth police.The letter states, “Although Pastor Geronimo is deeply hurt and saddened by the false news reports, he is asking us, as a family of God, to pray for the misguided few who are trying to destroy this church and the Word of God.”It was unclear Tuesday when Aguilar would be returned to Texas.
Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST