- (Photo: Screen Grab via CBS6)
Founding pastor of Virginia's Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) church, Geronimo Aguilar, who resigned earlier this month with three other pastors amid a sex scandal, will appear in a Texas court for a motions hearing on Tuesday.
According to online e-court records, Aguilar, affectionately known as "Pastor G," is scheduled to appear in a Texas courtroom on Tuesday morning, WTVR.com reports.
The hearing is related to charges that he sexually assaulted two sisters under age 14 in the 1990s in the Fort Worth area before he founded the ROC ministry. Pastor G, who is married with five children, is facing seven felony charges, and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
Pastor G and three other pastors of the church – Pastor Jason Helmlinger, Pastor Andrew Delgado and Pastor Matthew Aguilar – resigned over allegations of sexual assault and cover-up, the church's board announced on June 5. The megachurch is now searching for a permanent senior and executive pastor to fill the vacant positions.
Meanwhile, the church has recruited Jonathan Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., as an adviser in the wake of the sex scandal.
"Obviously it's a tragic situation. Obviously the members there are saddened and they are shocked at what they have found out and what they have seen happen over these last few weeks, but they are still passionate about their faith," Falwell earlier told The Christian Post.
Pastor G will continue to receive his $115,930 annual salary and reside in the church's half-million dollar parsonage until December, as per a severance deal that was arrived by the ROC board of directors "after much discussion and taking his family into consideration."
The ROC church had initially dismissed the allegations against Pastor G in a May 3 statement as "unsettling rumors and inaccurate news reports," but admitted it later as more information began to surface.
After the sexual assault allegations against Pastor G surfaced, several women came forward and claimed to have had sex with him.
"He brought us alcohol, we got drunk and the rest is history," said Amber Baker, according to 8News. "I had just turned 18. We had sex… It was wrong. Just because it is not illegal doesn't mean it is not wrong and he was my pastor I moved to Richmond to serve God."
Baker has also claimed Pastor G had sex with other members of her family. "My mother, my aunt and myself have all been involved with him sexually."
In a personal statement posted on the ROC Church's website earlier this month, Pastor G, acknowledged to the church that his personal problems have been a distraction.
"As you all know, my family and I have been facing difficult trials and persecution. This has taken a toll on me and my family, as well as those close to me. Unfortunately, during this difficult season, the focus has been taken off of Jesus and put on me, and that is not what The ROC is all about," he wrote.
"For this reason, I decided last week that it was time for me to permanently step down from my position as Senior Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center. I came to this decision after much prayer and wise counsel from a dear friend; and the Board is graciously supporting my decision," he added.
"Serving you all and leading this church have been the best twelve years of my life. Although we will not be at The ROC, Samantha and I are not leaving Richmond, and we hope to continue the many relationships we have built with you all. I would ask that you pray for me and my family, as we don't know what God has in store for us, next," he concluded.