A retired south Orange County pastor was behind bars Thursday on suspicion of molesting a girl, starting when she was younger than 10.
Jose Andres Lopez, who was being held on $1 million bail, was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of multiple lewd acts on a girl, starting in 2010, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Lopez, who said he was retired, according to jail records, volunteered as a pastor at Pacific Hills Calvary Chapel in Aliso Viejo between 2003 and 2005. The Mission Viejo resident also volunteered at Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo between 2012 and this year, Braun said.
Sheriff’s investigators did not say how Lopez met the girl nor what age she was when he allegedly molested her, saying only that the alleged sexual assaults began when she was younger than 10, Braun said. The girl came forward to deputies on Sunday.
Lopez did not meet the girl through the church and the attacks happened over the last 10 years, said sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner.
A second alleged victim came forward to authorities Thursday afternoon, Breckner said.
The alleged victim, who is an adult now, said she was a member of one of the churches where Lopez worked and the “suspect had taken her and other children regularly back to his house after church events,” Breckner said. The alleged victim accused him of molesting her, Breckner said.
Investigators suspect there could be more alleged victims and asked anyone with relevant information to call 714-647-7419. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.
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