Photo By, SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE
County of Siskiyou
Office of the District Attorney
J. Kirk Andrus, District Attorney
August 25, 2022
YREKA, CA – On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, Edwin Ernesto Alfaro-Lopez, 36, of Yreka was sentenced to a total of 29 years in state prison for four charges documenting sexual abuse of 3 individual victims who were under the age of 14 at the time of the crimes. The charges included Penal Code section 288.5-Continuous sexual abuse of a child, two counts of section 288(a)-Lewd Act on a child under 14, and one count of an attempt to commit a violation of section 288(a). On July 26, 2022, the defendant had pleaded guilty to these four charges knowing that he would receive the 29-year sentence.
At the sentencing hearing before the Honorable John Lawrence, one of the victims addressed the court. The other two victims declined to attend. The victim, designated as Jane Doe 1, described how the defendant’s behavior had made it difficult for her to trust men, and “ruined my innocence.” When she found that the DA’s office was reviewing the case, she was “super happy.”
The case was reviewed by District Attorney Kirk Andrus late in 2021. He noted that there had been strong efforts at investigation by the Sheriff’s Department in Siskiyou, Del Norte, and Sacramento Counties. Mr. Andrus decided to present the case to the Criminal Grand Jury, which took place in November. For that proceeding Mr. Andrus sent subpoenas to the two known victims as well as other potential victims who had not been interviewed by law enforcement officers. One such potential victim arrived at the Grand Jury and declined to disclose sexual abuse. The Grand Jury heard testimony and indicted Alfaro-Lopez for sexual abuse of the other two victims.
Shortly after the beginning of 2022, Alfaro-Lopez again sexually abused the victim who had not disclosed. The victim, with parental support, feeling more confident that the abuse could end, and seeing the defendant arrested and in jail, spoke to law enforcement and then returned to the same Grand Jury and testified to ongoing sexual abuse by the defendant. The Grand Jury indictment was amended to include the new charges.
After negotiating the 29-year prison sentence, of which the defendant will have to serve at least 85% under California law, Mr. Andrus expressed appreciation for the brave victims and the tremendous service they had done for themselves and for others. Jane Doe 1 referred to this in her comments at the sentencing hearing when she said she was now, “thriving with joy,” and gave two reasons: “you got in trouble and you are going to jail” and “all of the people you did it to they are finally getting justice.” She also expressed satisfaction that, “you are in jail now so now I don’t have to worry that you are going to do the same thing you did to me to other innocent people.”
District Attorney Kirk Andrus noted the reality that many victims of sexual abuse suffer in silence. He stated the hope that victims will find support they need, and the commitment in his office to prosecute every case of child sexual abuse that can be proven—in order to vindicate victims, punish offenders and protect children. “Until now these three brave victims were among those who had received no justice for their suffering, and other children were in danger of the same treatment. This is another step toward a county that is safer for children, and there is much more work to do.”