Pastor of east Columbus church charged with sexually assaulting young girls
Pastor Guillermo Quintanilla is behind bars, facing charges of sexually assaulting three young girls in the church.
Quintanilla, 47, is a pastor at El Shadai Church of God on South Hamilton Road. He was charged with rape, sexual battery, and two counts of gross sexual imposition.
According to court documents, investigators say a mom reported in June Quintanilla had molested her daughter. She told them it happened a couple of times a week over a four year time span, starting when the girl was just eight years old.
Police say when they began investigating, two other victims came forward accusing Quintanilla. Court documents show the girls said the assaults started when they were as young as six and eight years old. All of the girls attend the church.
"He cut our grass (voluntarily)," said neighbor Don Sutherland. "He waved every day when we seen him. You know, nice guy. He's really nice but hopefully it's just a misunderstanding. If it's not, it makes you think a little differently."
Quintanilla told detectives he didn't abuse anyone. He said if he touched any of the girls' private parts, it was an accident. Court records said he threatened to kill one girl and her mother if she ever told on him.
"I've got kids and the last thing I want to see is somebody walking around eyeballing one of my child," said neighbor Ben Tarquinio. "When you get a guy who keeps to himself and all of a sudden that comes out, it makes you a little more scared to say, 'hey my kids have been playing out here a couple years' and I don't know if he's ever said anything to them."
Quintanilla is being held on $1 million bond. He was also ordered to stay away from the victims and all minors. El Shadai rents space from a Lutheran church several days a week. So far we haven't heard back from anyone associated with the church.