Church members rally around pastor accused of molesting women

Brandon, Florida --- Francisco Rios, pastor of Casa de Amor in Brandon, is still behind bars, accused by Hillsborough County deputies of molesting two girls and a woman starting in 2011.

But that's not stopping church members who shouted, "Pastor we love you!" as they displayed a sign they made during the first Sunday service without their imprisoned leader.

Some of the members even referenced Rios as "daddy."

When asked if he thought the allegations against 44-year-old Rios were made up, Carlos Cortijo responded by saying, "Oh, yes, there's a lot of things that are gonna come out, and pop up. But let's just let time run and Jesus will make justice."

Church members wouldn't let us inside Casa De Amor, or House of Love Church in English, but when we spoke to them on their way in about allegations made against their pastor the members closed their ranks, even trying to block the camera at one point.

But we found video of Sunday's service that was streamed online.

Church members were singing, praying, and dancing. Video found on UStream from two weeks ago shows Rios embracing his church members, praying with them, counseling them to God.

That's exactly what Diane Stagg, who owns the hair salon two doors down from the church, said is wrong if the allegations against Rios are true.

"Pastors are supposed to counsel you and help you through hard times," she said. "Not give you hard times."

And when church members did speak about their imprisoned leader, the phrase most used was, "We love you."

Rios is being held on Hillsborough County jail without bond.


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