An accused child sex crimes defendant and pastor of the fast-growing Richmond Outreach Center, Geronimo Aguilar, resigned from the church he helped build shortly after his arrest in late May. He is now out on bond but has reportedly received a generous severance package from his church.
The accused child sex crimes suspect was receiving a salary of $115,000 a year for his work as a pastor.
According to the settlement announced last week in the Richmond’s Times Dispatch, the Richmond Outreach Center will continue to pay Aguilar’s $115,000 salary for the next six months — and he will also continue to be allowed to live in the half million dollar ROC owned home until December 10.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Geronimo Aguilar was recently charged with seven felony counts of child sexual abuse. Fort Worth, Texas authorities arrested Aguilar on allegations that he had sex multiple times with two young girls beginning in 1996.
One child was 11, and the other was 13. If found guilty, Aguilar could face life in prison.
However, the Richmond megachurch’s attorney Stephen C. Lewis felt that the generous severance package was fair:
“He was under an employment agreement, but I don’t think that was the reason for the severance. The reason was people appreciate what he’s done and with what he’s got going on, people want to make sure his family was taken care of…
“We certainly could have had no severance package at all, but the board thinks they are doing the right thing.”
In the wake of his arrest in late May, Aguilar was extradited to Texas. However, he has since returned to Virgina.
While keeping a $115,000 annual salary and a free home for several months may seem generous, it’s worth remembering that Geronimo Aguilar has the same presumption of innocence until proven guilty as anyone else.
What do you think of the severance package for a pastor accused of child sex crimes?
[money photo by 401(K) 2013 via Flickr and Creative Commons]