MAGNOLIA, Texas – A former employee of a Magnolia church is now the center of an investigation after he reportedly turned himself in and confessed to ‘inappropriate behavior with adolescents’ during his time at the ministry.
Court documents state that Michael Anthony Romero was charged with indecency of a child involving sexual contact. He reportedly turned himself in to authorities on Jan. 23.
It is believed that on or around June 15, 2004, Romero inappropriately touched a 17-year-old member of the congregation at Magnolia’s First Baptist Church. He also said that he had previously touched other students inappropriately as they were sleeping while at youth group retreats, gatherings, and sleepovers during his employment at the church.
The age of the victims ranged between 14 and 16 years old and were all reportedly young men. Investigators say two of the five victims stated that they remember him performing these acts on them during church events which were sometimes held at his home.
One victim, who reportedly began being touched by Romero at the age of 16, added that there were multiple instances where Romero made all the guys sleep in the same bed as him, which the victim said he did not like because Romero ‘cuddles hard and grabs’ and was ‘physical in bed,’ according to court documents.
The victim went on to say that Romero had previously held him by the chest or ‘would spoon him like you would with your wife.’
These allegations were confirmed in a statement by the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Magnolia:
“We have been devastated to learn that a former employee of our church (2002-2012), Mike (Taco) Romero, has recently confessed to inappropriate behavior with adolescents during his employment with the Church. Immediately upon hearing this from the Magnolia Police Department, we have fully cooperated with their investigation. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone involved. We continue to work with and cooperate with the authorities and encourage anyone with information to contact the Magnolia Police Department at (281) 356-2500.”
Romero’s bond has been set at $50,000.