Federal Way church daycare bus driver pleads not guilty to molesting girl

The bus driver of a Federal Way church daycare pleaded not guilty today to molesting a 6-year-old girl as she rode the bus one morning to school.

Oscar Raul Lopez, 57, is being held in jail on a $250,000 bail, despite recent failed efforts to reduce the amount, be released on recognizance or attain a referral for less restrictive custody.

Lopez was charged with first-degree child molestation on June 23 for allegedly inappropriately touching the girl as he drove her from Bethel Christian Church’s daycare to her school, charging documents state.

The girl reported the alleged abuse to her mother the day after she said it occurred. During a forensic interview with the girl, she told police that in late May, she was sitting in her usual spot, the back of the bus, waiting to go to school. Charging documents state she told Lopez she was ready to go but he went to the back of the bus, sat down next to her and touched her, the documents continue.

She told him to stop, which he did, and he told her he was sorry.

The 6-year-old also told detectives that Lopez touched her inappropriately on five separate occasions while she was on the daycare bus and would “tell her that she was beautiful,” charging documents state.

Lopez has lived at and attended Bethel Christian Church for seven years and worked there for five. The church has employed Lopez as a janitor, a daycare worker, a groundskeeper and for the past three years, a bus driver.

Lopez’s case setting hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7.


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