Maryland church teacher arrested on child sexual abuse charges

WUSA9 [Washington, DC]

March 12, 2024

Ervin Jeovany Alfaro Lopez, 33, was arrested Monday after a 10-month-long investigation. Detectives think there may be more victims.

DERWOOD, Md. — A man who worked as a teacher at a church in Derwood was arrested on sexual abuse charges, the Montgomery County Department of Police said Tuesday.

In May of 2023, detectives with the police department’s Special Victims Investigations Division opened an investigation after a victim reported being sexually abused by a teacher at a Derwood church located near the 15700 block of Crabbs Branch Way in Montgomery County.

Pastor Bernal Osorio with the Elim Giathersburg Church confirmed to WUSA9 that the alleged abuse happened in their Derwood location. 

After the first victim came forward in May, police say three more victims came forward between September 2023 and January 2024. All of the victims claimed to have been sexually abused by the same man at the same church.

Police said the abuse happened between 2016 and 2018. 

All of the victims were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old at the time of the abuse.

This month, detectives got an arrest warrant, charging 33-year-old Ervin Jeovany Alfaro Lopez with multiple offenses, including sex abuse of a minor, second-degree sex offense and third-degree sex offense; Alfaro Lopez was 25 to 27 years old at the time of the alleged crimes.

Court documents indicate that Alfaro Lopez, inappropriately touched his students when the kids were in the dark watching movies or when they had their eyes closed for prayer.

The charging documents also state that Alfaro Lopez admitted to the church’s pastor that he had touched a girl inappropriately, and that it was, “dealt with internally.”

Osorio told WUSA9 that his church cooperated with the police investigation. “We don’t know people’s hearts. At first we were shocked. How could this be possible? But as details came to light, we were outraged. I pity the people that make these decisions,” he added. 

Osorio says these allegations have divided his congregation, and he hopes that if there are more victims, that they call police.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims. Anyone who may have been a victim of Alfaro Lopez is being asked to call the Special Victims Investigations Division office at (240) 773-5400.