2nd ROC Pastor Steps Down; Protest Set For Outside RPD - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

2nd ROC Pastor Steps Down; Protest Held Outside RPD Headquarters

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RICHMOND, VA—Following ROC Pastor Geronimo Aguilar's Friday extradition to Texas on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, a Tuesday protest is set to take place outside the Richmond Police headquarters.

The protest comes in response to the scandal revolving "Pastor G," the head pastor of the ROC, who faces seven felony charges in Texas, including the aggravated sexual assault of two children under the age of 14.

The protest is being organized by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which says the rally is being held outside the police station to emphasize that suspected clergy sex crimes should be reported to secular officials, not church officials.

Aguilar, known as "Pastor G," was transported from police custody in Richmond to Richmond International Airport on Friday morning. He left Richmond on a flight to Texas, where he faces seven charges that, if convicted, could mean he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.

Thursday afternoon, the church'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 can be read here.

A second pastor at the ROC is also in trouble with the law and has stepped down from the church. 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. Monday, The ROC announced Helmlinger had voluntarily removed himself from his pastoral duties and is seeking counseling. The board's full statement can be read here.

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."

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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