Rivera Found Guilty
Polk County Enterprise - November 2007
It took a Polk County jury less than an hour to return a guilty verdict in the Polk County District Attorney's case against Arturo Rivera. Rivera, 43, of Livingston was found guilty on two counts of sexual assault of a child stemming from incidents which took place over a period of two or three years, culminating in charges being filed by the child's parents in January 2006.
"We're very gratified with the jury's verdict in this case," said Polk County Assistant District Attorney Joe Martin.
The crime came to light when an older brother of the victim, himself once a target of Rivera, returned from living abroad to warn the boys' father to keep Rivera away from the victim. A confrontation occurred between the victim's family and Rivera with church elders brought in to mediate. It was one of the church elders who initially alerted the police.
Testimony during the trial revealed that Rivera had a track record of "grooming" young boys under the premise of Bible study. Several former Bible students testified that Rivera made advances on them but was rebuffed. The boys also reported being shown pornographic magazines, videos and websites. Police investigation also turned up a history of adult movie rentals featuring transvestites and "barely legal" young men, with a video tape discovered at the residence at the time of Rivera's arrest. Also recovered was a notebook with boys' names, possibly targets, and several photos of boys in provocative poses and stages of undress.
Martin was determined to keep Rivera off the street with evidence that just prior to his arrest Rivera had begun stalking another child in the community, leaving notes and gifts on his windshield and saying he wanted to meet him.
"I have no doubt this man is a serial pedophile and we have removed a serious threat from our community and it's because of the excellent work of people like Matt Parrish and the folks in the DA's office."
The sentencing hearing for Rivera will begin October 31 at 1:30 p.m.