Montgomery County Pastor Charged With Trying to Rape Girl

Police are asking for anyone else who believes they were victimized to come forward

The pastor of a church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was arrested and charged with trying to rape a girl who was a member of his church.

Octavio Cantarero, 42, is the pastor at Iglesia Pentecostal Principe De Paz in Gaithersburg.

In May, the victim reported to police that when she met Cantarero he told her she was too young to live alone and provided her with a room at the church. It's unclear how old she was.

On Jan. 16, Cantarero allegedly brought her to a room in the church that had a bed and told her they would both sleep there.

During the night, the victim told police she woke up to Cantarero trying to rape her and she resisted, police say. Cantarero then asked the girl not to tell anyone about what happened and told her he could help pay for her clothes, rent and school, police said.

"He also stated that her demons had provoked him," police said in a release.

Cantarero turned himself into police on Saturday after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Sept. 16. 


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Police charged Cantarero with fourth-degree sexual offense (sexual contact) and attempted second-degree rape against a minor. 

He is being held without bond.

Police are asking for anyone who believes they or their child was victimized by Cantarero to call 240-773-5400.

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