FORT WORTH, Tx. -- A Texas court denied the appeal from former Richmond pastor Geronimo Aguilar, who was convicted in 2015 of sexually abusing multiple juveniles.
Aguilar, known locally as Pastor G, was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under fourteen years of age, three counts of sexual assault of a child under seventeen years of age, and two counts of indecency with a child by contact.
A judge sentenced Aguilar to 40 years on the first two charges, and to 20 years for each of the others. The seven sentences are allowed to run concurrently.
Aguilar’s basis of appeal was that the court abused its discretion and admitted evidence of extraneous bad acts and testimony which allegedly constituted backdoor hearsay.
The court ruled that if Aguilar thought certain things shouldn’t have been admitted, he should have objected more times in the trial.
Aguilar also appealed that the testimony of one witness was “backdoor hearsay.”
The judges denied his appeal and said that erroneously admitted backdoor hearsay was harmless because other testimony proved the same facts.
A Texas jury found Aguilar guilty of sex crimes against two sisters who he started to abuse when they were 11 and 13 years old. The girls, now women, said they were abused in the 1990s while Aguilar was a pastor at their church in Texas.
The oldest sister said that after the first night Aguilar had sex with her -- on Halloween night in 1996 – that they had “a lot of sex in a lot of different places.” She maintained that even when Aguilar and his wife moved further away, he continued to have sex with her until she was almost 15 years old and that they used various motels rooms.
Then Aguilar moved to Richmond, where he served as pastor and founder of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) church. He was fired in 2014 after the Texas allegations surfaced.
According to testimony, Aguilar had numerous affairs within the ministry and was confronted about them by a 16-year-old girl on his staff, with whom he also had an affair.
The Texas complainant convinced that teen to come forward with charges.
In 2015, CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said the prosecution did an excellent job prosecuting the case.
“They went to multiple states to get evidence, and they had over 100 witnesses on the witness list,” Stone said.
He said testimony from women in Richmond who said they had affairs with Aguilar was critical to convincing the jury of his guilt.
“It bolstered the case, and showed inconsistencies in his testimony, and that’s something that the jury really was looking for to hang their hat on,” Stone said.
According to Todd Stone, Aguilar must serve 20 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.