New Westminster – 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 4th and charged with:
Three (3) counts of Sexual Interference contrary to Section 151 of the Criminal Code; and
Three (3) counts of Sexual Assault contrary to Section 271 of the Criminal Code.
“We encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of sexual violence to come forward and report the incident to police,” stated Sergeant Justine Thom. “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, Pastor Edwin Alvarez was a Pastor at a small church in the Metro Vancouver area.
The New Westminster Police Department 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, please contact Emergency Sexual Assault Support Program (ESAS) at Cameray at 236-668-6687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT PERSON: Hailey Finnigan