Affidavits detail sex abuse allegations against former Fort Worth pastor

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013  Print Reprints

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A Virginia pastor recently accused of sexually abusing two young sisters in the 1990s was asked to leave his former Fort Worth church after a member caught him kissing one of the girls, according to court documents.

A Virginia attorney for Geronimo Scott Aguilar has said Aguilar was in Fort Worth during the mid-1990s to help start a small mission but moved to Richmond, Va., for other opportunities.

But arrest warrant affidavits obtained Tuesday by the Star-Telegram indicate that he had been asked to leave New Beginnings International Church after a member saw him kissing one of the girls and alerted pastors.

But Senior Pastor Don Couch said Tuesday that he never heard of any allegations of sexual misconduct during the roughly year that Aguilar was employed at the church as an outreach and youth minister.

“We have no reason to try to cover for him. That just simply is not true,” Couch said. “He left here because he and I had some discussions. There were just some things I didn’t like about the way he was bringing things into the ministry. We didn’t agree on theology. In addition to that, I suspected he was abusing prescription medication. All those are the reasons he was dismissed.”

Couch said that if such an allegation was brought to another church pastor, who has since died, he was never told about it.

Prosecutors have filed two charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child against Aguilar, who remains free on bond totaling $200,000.

David Carlson, his Virginia attorney, has said Aguilar, 43, denies wrongdoing.

Aguilar is senior pastor of Richmond Outreach Center, a church that he founded in 2003. He is on paid leave while he deals with these legal matters, according to a church statement.

The affidavits say the alleged abuse occurred after the girls’ parents followed Aguilar to Fort Worth from California to join him at New Beginnings.

“Because he was their trusted spiritual leader, he was able to move into their home and have easy access to the victim and her younger sister,” Detective D.L. Nash of the crimes against children unit wrote in the affidavits.

The older girl, now 30, provided “consistent statements” about the alleged abuse in December 2007 and this February to Anaheim and Fort Worth police, the affidavit states.

She told authorities that Aguilar had repeatedly sexually assaulted her, beginning in October 1996 when she was 13 and continuing until she was nearly 15. The encounters occurred at her home, in motels, in the church van, in the church bathroom and in public restrooms, she told police.

The sister, now 28, told Anaheim and Fort Worth police in December 2007 and again this April that she was sexually abused beginning in October 1996, when she was 11. She said the abuse happened in her home and while she cleaned at the church.

The affidavit states that after moving to Grapevine in March 1997, the parents caught Aguilar having intercourse with the younger girl under a blanket in the living room. The parents have since provided a statement saying that Aguilar admitted to having sex with their daughter.

The girls’ brother also recently told police that he once walked in on Aguilar buttoning up his pants and putting on his belt while the older sister was in bed covering herself with a blanket.

The brother said his sister remarked at the time, “I can’t stand the smell of sex,” the affidavit states.

Two other witnesses, who had been married by Aguilar, told police that they were at the girls’ home and overheard Aguilar on a speakerphone, asking for forgiveness and begging the girls’ parents not to call police for having sex with their daughters, the affidavit states.

The affidavit does not say whether the parents ever reported the allegations to authorities at that time.

Sgt. Robert Eberling, a Grapevine police spokesman, said Tuesday that they can find no such report in their records.

Citing the pending prosecution, Fort Worth police declined to answer questions about the case Tuesday, including whether the allegations were reported to the department in the 1990s.

Couch said the girls’ mother had contacted him in recent years to tell him about the allegations.

“I said, ‘Have they brought charges against him?’” Couch said.

He said the mother told him that she couldn’t get her daughters to testify against Aguilar.

“I immediately told their mother to go to the authorities or get [her daughters] to go,” Couch said.

He said he didn’t feel it was his responsibility to alert authorities because the girls were now grown.

Aguilar was arrested in Richmond on May 21 on two Fort Worth warrants for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14. He was brought to Fort Worth but has since returned to Virginia after being released on bail, his attorney has said.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655 Twitter: @deannaboyd