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Maryland pastor accused of trying to rape young girl claimed ‘her demons provoked him

A Maryland pastor who allegedly tried to rape a young girl in his congregation told her that the demons inside her made him do it, according to police.

Octavio Cantarero, a 42-year-old pastor at the Iglesia Pentecostal Principe De Paz in Gaithersburg, has been charged with fourth-degree sexual offense (sexual contact) and attempted second-degree rape against a minor, the Maryland County Police Department announced Tuesday.

Officials say Cantarero met the alleged victim, whose name and age was not released, in January and offered her a room at the church because “she was too young to live alone.”

That night, the girl woke up to Cantarero trying to rape her, police said.

The pastor allegedly offered to pay for the girl’s clothes, rent, and school if she kept quiet, and told her that “her demons had provoked him.”

She reported the crime to police in May and Cantarero turned himself in over the weekend, police said.

He is being held without bond.


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