A pastor in Butler County pled guilty to charges of enticement and coercion earlier in June 2020. Before proceeding, we want to warn you that some of the details of the case may be disturbing.

Cesar Agusto Guerrero, Jr. admitted that he engaged in sexual acts twice with a 17-year old girl. The sexual acts occurred in July and August 2019 while employed at Misión Cristiana El Calvario in Sharonville. Guerrero worked as a pastor at the church.

According to the court documents, Guerrero told the victim that the teen had to have sexual relations with him to cleanse her. He told her that God was speaking to him. Evidence against Guerrero included audio and video calls on Facebook Messenger, in addition to text messages.

In the messages with the teen, Guerrero coerced her to send him sexually explicit photos. He also coerced her into engaging in a sexually explicit video call. During this time, Guerrero used bible verses to justify his instructions.

The parties recommend a prison sentence of 10 years. The statutory sentence for this sex crime is ten years to life, five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Guerrero is awaiting sentencing.

State Charges Came Before Federal Charges

When the pastor was initially arrested, he faced several child sex charges. He was indicted on three charges of sexual battery in Hamilton County for the incidents that occurred in the church office. The state charges alleged that Guerrero convinced the teen female to perform oral sex on him.

A court affidavit stated that the pastor used bible verses and his position as a pastor to convince the teen that the word of God said she needed to do these things to be cleansed from childhood molestation.

Guerrero used bible verses and prayed while she performed oral sex as he claimed this was necessary to cleanse her. He also penetrated her vaginally, telling her that God told him to do it.

Guerrero was arrested on state sexual battery charges before the federal charges were unsealed.

What is Sexual Battery?

Sexually batter is a crime under Ohio Revised Code §2907.03. Generally, sexual battery is a felony in the third degree. However, if the victim is younger than 13 years of age, the charge may be increased to a felony in the second degree.

A person may be charged with sexual battery if:

  • the person knowingly coerced a victim to submit to sexual acts.
  • the person is aware that the victim submitted because the victim was not aware that the act was considered sexual misconduct under the law.
  • the victim is a minor and the person is an instructor or coach.
  • the victim is a minor who attends the cleric’s church.
  • the person is a school employee or teacher where the victim attends school.
  • the victim submits because he or she believes the person is the victim’s spouse.
  • the person knows that the victim may not be able to control his or her conduct because of a substantial impairment.
  • the person is the victim’s guardian or parent.
  • the victim is a hospital patient or prison in a facility in which the person has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim.
  • the person is a peace officer and the victim is a minor who is more than two years younger than the offender.

There could be several defenses to sexual battery charges. Because of the potential penalties for a sexual battery conviction, you may want to consult a sex crimes attorney before pleading guilty to sexual battery. An attorney reviews your case to determine if the state has sufficient evidence to prove the required legal elements of sexual battery.

What are the Criminal Penalties for Sexual Battery?

The penalties for sexual battery include fines and jail time. For a third-degree felony, the person could serve up to five years in state prison and pay a fine up to $10,000. A second-degree felony has the potential for up to eight years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.

In addition to a prison sentence and fine, most defendants are also required to register as a sex offender. The duration of time a person appears on the sex offender registry depends on the reason the person must register as a sex offender.

There are three tiers for registering on the sex offenders list. For some offenses, a person may be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years. Other offenses have terms between 180 days and 25 years.

Certain offenses require that a person registers with local law enforcement every 90 days for the rest of the person’s life.

When a person is registered as a sex offender, there are generally restrictions regarding employment and residency. There may also be restrictions regarding alcohol consumption and the use of a computer. In some cases, a sex offender may be required to notify neighbors about their status as a registered sex offender.