FORT WORTH, Texas (WRIC) — Former Richmond megachurch pastor Geronimo Aguilar was found guilty of sexually assaulting two girls when they were just 11 and 13-years-old in Texas on Wednesday.
The founder of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC), once considered the fastest growing church in America, is now a convicted criminal off to prison.
As a policy, 8News doesn’t normally identify victims, but the women asked we show their faces and use their names because they said they want others to know it’s okay to come forward.
“We’re just very thankful, 20 years and it is finally coming out,” said victim Nancy Mohr. “The hardest part is that nobody believes you or that people who have heard don’t do anything.”
The victims were overcome with emotion — tears of joy and a sense of justice — after all this time, someone believes them. And the man who abused them will pay the price.
“I think I am still in shock a little bit; I didn’t think this day would ever come,” said victim Lani Vallejo.
Outside the court, hugs and thanks to the jurors. Many of the jurors asked to meet the victims. One juror told 8news that the evidence was overwhelming and that there was never a doubt in her mind that Aguilar was guilty.
“It was just really clear who was telling the truth and who wasn’t the whole time through,” said Stephanie Rudy, one of the jurors.
Aguilar’s attorneys did not want to discuss the verdict.
While there had been accusations of sexual abuse before, both the victims and the prosecutors agree what made the difference this time was all the women who spoke up.
“I think it was time, it was the courage to come stand up against the machine that he created,” said Tarrant County Prosecutor Erik Nichols.
“I hope that he can’t hurt anybody anymore,” said Vallejo.
Sentencing won’t happen for couple months. Prosecutors plan to push life in prison. The defense plans to appeal Wednesday’s verdict.