RICHMOND, VA— ROC head pastor Geronimo Aguilar, who was extradited to Texas where he faces seven felony charges, including the aggravated sexual assault of two children under the age of 14, has posted bond and has been released from a Texas jail.
Aguilar, known as "Pastor G," returned to Richmond with his lawyer late Thursday night. After his flight landed, 8News investigative reporter Kerri O'Brien asked Aguilar about the allegations, but his lawer said they have been ordered not to talk about the case.
Aguilar faces seven charges in Texas that, if convicted, could mean he'll spend the rest of his life in prison. He was released from jail on two $100,000 bonds at approximately 9:15 a.m. (CST) Thursday.
A Friday bond reduction hearing has been canceled.
Last week, the Richmond-based church The ROC's board of directors announced Aguilar was temporarily stepping down as pastor and president of the board at the Richmond Outreach Center. The board's full statement may be read here.
Warrants out of Fort Worth, Texas charge Geronimo Aguilar with multiple felony charges stemming from two cases of alleged aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
In the first case, Aguilar is facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14. Both counts are punishable by up to life in prison if convicted, according to Texas authorities. In the same case, he is also charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, felonies which carry up to 20 years in prison.
In the case of the second alleged victim, Aguilar is again charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor under 14. Again, both counts are punishable by up to life in prison. In the second case, he is also charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Texas authorities said both cases stem from allegations that Aguilar sexually abused two victims in 1996.
Corporal Tracey Knight of the Fort Worth Police Department told 8News that Aguilar surrendered without incident to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at his Richmond home.
Initially, Aguilar was granted $50,000 bond in Richmond, but a judge revoked bond as prosecutors appealed the decision, arguing Aguilar was a flight risk and Texas authorities had specifically asked bond not be granted.
A second pastor at the ROC is also in trouble with the law. 8News has confirmed ROC executive pastor and former Henrico County Police officer Jason Helmlinger was charged and arrested for making threats against an 8News source in our on-going investigation.
Helmlinger is charged with making a threatening and obscene phone call to Pastor Allen Caldwell after Caldwell gave 8News an interview. Caldwell told 8News reporter Kerri O'Brien he left the ROC after witnessing alleged inappropriate behavior between Pastor G and some church wives.
Caldwell says soon after his interview, Helmlinger called him and yelled profanities and threatened to do bodily harm to Caldwell, who called police to report the incident.
Helmlinger's charge is a misdemeanor.
Several women came forward to 8News with allegations of abuse by The ROC Church pastor Geronimo Aguilar, who is accused of having sex with minors in Texas.
Amber Baker is the fourth woman to claim to 8News she had sex with Pastor Geronimo Aguilar when she was a teenager.
"We had sex," Baker told us simply.
She went on to tell us that she was just five years old when she began attending Pastor G and his father's ministries. She would go on to work for The ROC Church here in Richmond, and marry Pastor G's brother-in-law.
But before her work in the church began, she alleges that she got very close to her Pastor.
"He would talk to me online, we started talking all the time."
She claims one night when Aguilar's wife was out of town, he took her, her 16-year-old sister and two other young women to a timeshare in Williamsburg where her relationship with her pastor quickly changed.
"He brought us alcohol, we got drunk and the rest is history," Baker said. "I had just turned 18. We had sex."
Although Baker says she knows she was an adult, the relationship was inappropriate because Aguilar was her pastor.
"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."
She also claims she is not the only one who has had a relationship with Aguilar.
"My mother, my aunt and myself have all been involved with him sexually."
She continued, "In 2010 when he asked my husband and I to return to work there, he confessed to a relationship with an underage girl."
Baker also says she knows the alleged victims in Texas very well, and believes the allegations of sexual misconduct they have lobbied against Pastor G.
Several months ago, Baker left the church. She told us she is breaking her silence now because she knows there are others.
"I am speaking out for so many of you who I know personally, who you have confessed to me or I have known and just not told you. I will not stop speaking out until he can no longer hurt women."
Meanwhile, many ROC Church members continue to stand by their pastor while he is under investigation, posting messages of support on Facebook like "Pastor G Rocks."
Church members also held a bike run in solidarity with Pastor G two weeks ago.
On May 15, Pastor G's attorney David Carlson told 8News he has no knowledge of any wrongdoing. He added that he has quizzed his client thoroughly and that Pastor G maintains he is innocent.
Stay with 8News for updates.
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