Police: Pastor Used Fear Of Devil To Have Sex With Women

Trial Set For Next Year

TheDenverChannel.com/November 29, 2004

San Diego -- A National City, Calif., pastor accused of using the fear of the devil to persuade women in his congregation to have sex with him will go on trial next year.

Carlos Romero, 59, faces up to five years and eight months in prison if convicted of three felony counts, including making a criminal threat.

Superior Court Judge William Kennedy Wednesday scheduled a pretrial hearing for Dec. 13, with trial scheduled to start Feb. 14.

At a Sept. 17 preliminary hearing, La Mesa, Calif., police Sgt. Daniel Willis testified that Romero told him he was sorry for telling three women who went to his church the "devil would physically harm them and he could protect them if they had sex with him."

Willis said the pastor told him he knew his actions toward the women were wrong and he "wouldn't do it again."

A woman identified as Dora testified that she had gone to Romero's church for about a year and came back in 2000. She said she met the defendant in Fashion Valley last January.

"He told me that there was a revelation from God," Dora said. "He told me that I had already been attacked by the devil, that I could only stop this by having sexual relations with him."

Dora said she believed Romero because she considered him a "true pastor" who was "guiding us toward eternal life."

Another woman testified that Romero told her the devil would leave her "gravely wounded" if she did not have sex with him.

A third woman testified that Romero threatened to kill her after she tried to end their sexual relationship in February 2003.

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