Witness tampering alleged in sexual assault case against former pastor

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Former pastor Emanuel Rodriguez and his wife Veronica are accused of witness tampering in the sexual assault case for which Emanuel is jailed. He is accused of assaulting two young children.

Investigators with Project Harmony interviewed several children in connection with allegations that Rodriguez would touch them inappropriately while they watched a movie on a couch together at his home. Two other girls described similar incidents.

Investigators filed two counts of Third Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.

Now authorities allege that Emanuel called his wife from jail and told her to contact the mothers of the victims about dropping the assault charges. In a later call they allegedly discussed sending text messages to them.

According to court documents the two allegedly discussed the wording to use in the text. Prosecutors said during a phone call made on August 15th Veronica read a text aloud to Emanuel stating, "I pray that you will let this stuff go, his whole career is gone in the ministry and he's losing everything, is that not enough?"

Veronica goes on to say that. "If they don't answer through a text, it's gonna go through a fight now. I'm giving them a chance to make it right, if they don't make it right, I'm coming with a slam."

Prosecutors say Emanuel allegedly told Veronica to threaten criminal charges against family members if the assault charges were not dropped.

"Your honor, we are concerned in this case obviously as he has been observed in phone calls trying to apply pressure to his wife to contact the parents of the victims and we have concerns about the witness tampering that's going on," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that the mother of one victim verified that she had received messages from Veronica asking her to drop the assault charges.

Bond for both was set at $75,000, they will appear back in front of a judge for preliminary hearings on November 30th.