Stafford pastor convicted of inappropriately touching church member, claiming 'devil made him do it'

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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- Gregorio Maldonado, a pastor in Stafford, was convicted of indecent assault for inappropriately touching a church member.

The victim and her family lived at the 46-year-old's Katy home, where the assault happened, according to lead prosecutor Michelle Anderson.

Records state on Nov. 9, 2021, Maldonado snuck into the victim's bed, began touching her inappropriately, and made her touch him while everyone else slept.

The Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office said the victim was afraid to come forward because of Maldonado's position in the Christian church and his status in her family.

In January 2022, the victim told her father about what happened, which led to a confrontation between Maldonado and her family.

Her father recorded Maldonado apologizing to the woman, saying he could not remember what happened, and said if anything did happen, the devil made him do it.

In May 2022, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office arrested Maldonado, saying other victims came forward with similar allegations.

The DA noted that at the close of the May 2024 trial, Maldonado had brought 100 members of his church.

During the victim's impact statement, she addressed Maldonado and thanked church members who prayed for justice.

"The defendant abused his position of trust, and the victim has had to wait years for her day in court. She has suffered invisible scars left by the defendant, some of which will remain for the rest of her life," Anderson said. "But she is a survivor. She now plans on using her traumatic experience to benefit other victims; she plans on going to the police academy to become an investigator for sexual crimes."

"Indecent Assault was a Class C offense, like a traffic ticket, until 2019 when the Texas Legislature increased the severity of the crime. This is the first case of its kind tried in Fort Bend County. The verdict and sentence set a precedent that the people of Fort Bend County will not allow this kind of disgusting behavior and will not tolerate gross abuses of power," District Attorney Brian Middleton said.

Maldonado was probation-eligible. The jury sentenced the 46-year-old to one year in county jail plus a $4,000 fine.

Maldonado served as pastor of Casa de MAAM.