IN the spring of 2022, the New Westminster Police Department began an investigation stemming from multiple reports of sexual interference against children with the alleged offences occurring between 2017 and 2021.
After a lengthy investigation by the New Westminster Police Department Major Crime Unit, as well as with the assistance of the Saanich Police Department, Pastor Edwin Alvarez was arrested in Saanich on January 4 and charged with three counts of sexual interference and three counts of sexual assault.
“We encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of sexual violence to come forward and report the incident to police,” said Sgt. Justine Thom on Monday. “We take these reports seriously, and this case is an example of how offenders can be prosecuted well after the date of the offence.”
At the time of the assault, Alvarez was a pastor at a small church in the Metro Vancouver area.
The New Westminster Police Department said that it understands that while sexual assaults often cause long-lasting trauma, survivors may have difficulty speaking about the incidents with friends, family members, or police officers. If someone is not ready to report to police, but is ready to seek support, they are requested to contact Emergency Sexual Assault Support Program (ESAS) at Cameray at 236-668-6687 or email@example.com.