VA--Ex-Richmond pastor found guilty of child sex crimes in Texas
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 24
A jury has found a Richmond pastor guilty on seven counts of child sexual abuse.
The former pastor of Richmond Outreach Center, Geronimo Aguilar (a.k.a. Pastor G) was convicted by a Texas jury this afternoon. We applaud this verdict and hope it brings some comfort to Aguilar’s victims.
We also hope he gets the most severe sentence possible.
Last year, even after being indicted, Pastor G was scheduled to speak on Good Friday at Cedar Street Baptist Church in Richmond.
We continue to urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Aguilar’s crimes to contact police. And we urge current and former ROC staff and members to help reach out to others who may have suspicions or knowledge about Aguilar.
According to the Dallas Morning News, “Aguilar settled in Richmond in 1999 and has been a pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center since the early 2000s.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, some in Aguilar’s church community have expressed its support for the religious leader. (Among the ROC members who have, as recently as last year, spoken up in support of Aguilar are Shebeney Miles, Kimberly Williamson, and Bobby Thomas.) We hope they will publicly apologize for their hurtful remarks.
Finally, we encourage anyone who may have been harmed by or who has any information about harm done by Aguilar to contact the police. Only when victims and witnesses speak out are children safer.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.