RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Convicted sex offender and former Richmond megachurch Pastor Geronimo Aguilar has officially filed his appeal in Texas. You’ll remember, last year the former “Roc Church” pastor was convicted on seven counts of sexual assault on a minor. It happened during the 1990’s while he was a youth pastor in Texas.
In the brief, Aguilar and his legal team are asking a Texas appeals court to reverse his conviction and grant him a new trial. One of the grounds for appeal argues the Texas trial court abused its discretion in admitting extensive evidence of Pastor Aguilar’s extramarital affairs here in Virginia.
Aguilar’s attorneys argue, “what started out as an allegation in Texas 19 years ago evolved into a Virginia circus.” The brief goes on to say the “pastor’s circus of a trial was anything but fair.”
Legal experts say the inclusion of those adult affairs could give an appellate judge some pause to consider the case.”
“Generally speaking, if it is more prejudicial than probative that is going to hurt the witness worse than any reason for admitting it’s not admissible,” Chesterfield County attorney Bill Shields told 8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien. “In Virginia the admission of that evidence would have been problematic.”
At the time of trial, prosecutors argued the extramarital affairs showed a pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of power as a pastor. The prosecutors will get a chance to respond to this appeal, 8News will keep you updated.8News has been following this story since it was first reported by Kerri O’Brien two years ago. Watch Part I and Part II of our special report that aired in Fall of 2015.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.