A Lynn pastor accused of sexually assaulting five children over several years was released after posting $25,000 cash bail following his arraignment in Lynn District Court, prosecutors said.
An automatic not-guilty plea was entered Tuesday on behalf of Daniel Lopez, 62, on seven counts of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14 and one count of rape of a child, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex County district attorney’s office.
Lopez is a pastor at the Vida Real Internacional Congregation in Lynn, according to a police report that alleges he sexually abused the five young members of his congregation between 2004 and 2008.
The children all belonged to two families. Lopez was a close friend of the families; members referred to him as “uncle” or “brother.” He was often alone with the children, who were between the ages of six and eight when they were attacked, according to the report.
Most of the boys and girls Lopez abused were too young to understand that Lopez was touching them in inappropriate ways and they did not immediately tell anybody about the abuses, the report alleged.
One of the children told a parent in March about being touched by Lopez. The two families convened a meeting and discovered that four other children also said Lopez had touched them inappropriately above and below their clothing, the report said. The families then contacted Lynn police.
A judge ordered Lopez to wear a GPS tracking device and have no contact with victims, witnesses, or any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, Kimball-Monahan said.
A message left on Lopez’s answering machine wasn’t immediately returned.