Benton County Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teen Girls
AVOCA (KFSM) — After a month-long investigation, a Benton County pastor was arrested on Thursday (May 11) for allegedly molesting two teenage girls who attended his parish.
Cesar Lopez, 59, of Rogers, is facing two counts of second degree sexual assault, both felonies, according to his arrest report.
Officers received a hotline tip on April 6 that Lopez had molested two girls who were 15 and 16, according to an affidavit. Both girls attended the church with their families.
One of the girls told investigators that Lopez would touch her inappropriately when he was giving her a hug, the affidavit states.
She said in the affidavit that in July 2015, when the girl was 14, he called her into a back room while they were both in the church. There he asked her to lift her dress and started touching her inappropriately.
The girl said that she knew Lopez since she was about 6 and their families were very close.
The second girl said that Lopez also grabbed her inappropriately when he would give her hugs, the affidavit states.
Officers tried to contact Lopez on April 13, but he didn’t show up, according to the affidavit. On April 15, Lopez’ attorney contacted a Benton County deputy on behalf of his client, but denied meeting with the officer.
In May, officers were able to obtain an arrest warrant and arrested Lopez on Wednesday. He was booked into the Benton County Jail.