Virginia minister released on bail in Fort Worth sexual assault cases

Posted Thursday, May. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The pastor of a Richmond, Va., church who has been accused of sexually assaulting two girls in the 1990s in Fort Worth was released on bail Thursday from the Tarrant County Jail.

Geronimo Aguilar, 43, was brought to the jail last Friday after being arrested at his Richmond home. He was released on bail totaling $200,000 — $100,000 each for two charges.

State District Judge Louis Sturns cautioned lawyers on both sides to not discuss the case. Therefore, Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said prosecutors would have no comment.

Likewise, defense lawyer David Carlson of Glen Allen, Va., said he could not answer questions. He did confirm that his client was free on bail and headed back to Virginia.

Aguilar is senior pastor of Richmond Outreach Center, or Roc, a prominent church in Richmond. He is on a paid leave of absence, according to a church news release.

Police have said his two accusers are adult women in Anaheim, Calif., who recently reported being sexually assaulted by Aguilar in 1996 and 1997 in Fort Worth. They were juveniles at the time, police said.

In an earlier interview, Carlson said Aguilar was in Fort Worth during the mid-1990s to help start a small ministry, but he relocated to Richmond for other opportunities.

The lawyer said the case has drawn intense media attention in Virginia.

Another ROC pastor has temporarily stepped down to address a misdemeanor charge against him, according to another news release. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Executive Pastor Jason Helmlinger, 41, is accused of making threats against one of Aguilar’s critics.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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