Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have charged Octavio Cantarero, age 42, of the 24300 block of Hilton Place in Gaithersburg, with committing sexual offenses, to include a fourth-degree sexual offense (sexual contact) and attempted second-degree rape, against a minor. Cantarero is a Pastor at the Iglesia Pentecostal Principe De Paz which is located on Earhart Court in Gaithersburg. At the time of the offenses, the juvenile victim was a congregant of the church.
In May 2019, the victim reported the offenses to police and SVID detectives began an investigation.
SVID detectives determined that when the victim met Cantarero, he told her that she was too young to live alone and provided her with a room at the church to use. On January 16, 2019, the pastor brought the victim to a room in the church that had a bed and stated that the two would sleep there. During the night, the victim woke up to Cantarero attempting to rape her. The victim resisted. Cantarero asked the victim not to tell anyone about the incident and that he could help pay for her clothes, rent, and school. He also stated that her demons had provoked him.
A warrant was issued for Cantarero’s arrest on September 16 and he turned himself into detectives on September 21. He was transported to the Central Processing Unit and is being held without bond.
Investigators are asking that anyone who believes that he/she was victimized by Octavio Cantarero or anyone who believes that his/her child was victimized by him to please call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.