A woman is being required by a Texas judge to testify against her former boss, an ex-megachurch pastor who has been accused of sexual assault, though she may be arrested for showing up in court.
Crystal Puryear once served as the assistant to Geronimo Aguilar, the ex-pastor of Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) in Virginia who is facing seven felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls in Texas in the mid-1990s.
Last week a judge denied a motion by Puryear's attorneys that sought to keep her from appearing at an Aug. 21 court hearing, WTVR in Richmond reports. She still didn't show up, however, which means she could be arrested if she appears at the next hearing.
Aguilar, whose nickname is "Pastor G", resigned in June after he was extradited to Texas and brought up on seven felony charges. The two girls he allegedly assaulted nearly two decades ago were both under the age of 14 at the time.
The alleged crimes occurred before Aguilar founded ROC in 2001 with the help of a small group of people. Since that time the church, which grew to be attended by thousands of people each week, has become a pillar in its community.
Aguilar took a temporary leave of absence from the church to focus on his case at the end of May, and less than two weeks later the church's board of directors announced that it had accepted his resignation. Still, Aguilar has denied he committed the crimes of which he's been accused.
"There's obviously going to be some people that judge you from the 30 minutes that they see you on television or what they hear in the news," Aguilar previously told WTVR. "But the people that really matter, the people that I want to love me and believe the best, those are the ones I focus on."
He added, "It would be wonderful if people would wait until the end to find out that this isn't true."
Four other ROC pastors have stepped down for various reasons since the former senior pastor was arrested. Most recently the church board accepted the resignation of Assistant Pastor Fernando Kittrel effective Aug. 31.
Earlier this month the church announced that it hired two interim preachers who will share the pulpit while the ROC Board of Directors searches for a new senior pastor. A press release from the church indicated that the search for a new senior pastor and executive pastor could take up to a year.
Calls to ROC from The Christian Post were not returned before publication time.