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Maryland pastor accused of trying to rape minor congregant

Octavio Cantarero
Octavio Cantarero (Maryland County Police Department)

GAITHERSBURG — A Maryland pastor is accused of trying to rape an underage congregant and then blaming the attack on her, saying “her demons had provoked him.”

News outlets report 42-year-old Octavio Cantarero has been arrested on charges including attempted second-degree rape. Montgomery County police say the victim told authorities that the Iglesia Pentecostal Principe De Paz pastor had told her she was too young to live alone and offered her a room at the church.

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Police say the girl was provided the single-bed room in January and told by Cantarero that the two of them would sleep there. Police say the victim reported waking to Cantarero attacking her. She says he then told her to keep quiet, offered to pay for her living expenses and blamed his behavior on her demons.

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