Man re­ceives life sen­tence for rape

Awaits trial for an­other rape case

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com

A La Plata man was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment Thurs­day af­ter­noon in Charles County Cir­cuit Court for rap­ing an 11-year-old girl.

Jaime An­to­nio Rivera, 27, was sen­tenced to life plus 25 years in prison, con­victed of rape and child sex­ual abuse fol­low­ing three days of trial in Jan­uary. As­sis­tant state’s at­tor­neys Sarah Free­man and Jared Al­bert met their bur­den of proof through DNA ev­i­dence and wit­ness tes­ti­mony from the vic­tim and her 8-year-old sis­ter, who said Rivera made her sit on the top bunk while the bed shook for 30 to 50 min­utes.

In Rivera’s charg­ing doc­u­ments, a de­tec­tive noted that Rivera told po­lice he was not a U.S. ci­ti­zen.

The vic­tim first re­por ted

the in­ci­dent to po­lice on June 10, 2016, af­ter talk­ing to a so­cial worker at school a few days af­ter Rivera raped her, and made dis­clo­sures to a Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice de­tec­tive be­fore a sex­ual as­sault nurse ex­am­i­na­tion was con­ducted, court pro­ceed­ings showed. A search war­rant was ob­tained and de­tec­tives re­cov­ered cloth­ing the vic­tim had worn the night of the rape, as well as a DNA sam­ple from the sus­pect. It was later de­ter­mined that Rivera’s DNA sam­ple matched the DNA found from un­der­wear the vic­tim said she had been wear­ing.

On the night of the in­ci­dent, June 4, 2016, the vic­tim said she had been asleep when she was wo­ken up around 2 a.m. by Rivera, who de­manded to have sex with her.

“He told me that if I didn’t, he was go­ing to get his knife,” the vic­tim tes­ti­fied. When she said no, he left the room and came back with a knife, and she then com­plied. “I just laid there” and didn’t say any­thing, she tes­ti­fied. “… I was scared, and I was cry­ing.”

On Thurs­day, Judge Erik Nyce, a visiting judge who presided over the trial, found that a de­par­ture from sen­tenc­ing guide­lines was war­ranted given the heinous na­ture of the of­fense.

“I do find that he is a vi­o­lent sex­ual preda­tor,” the judge said. “… The level of harm was ex­ces­sive,” not­ing the im­pact the crime had on the vic­tim and also her younger sis­ter.

“[She lis­tened to her sis­ter] un­dergo the most heinous abuse that could be pos­si­ble,” Nyce said. “Our hearts pray for you.”

The judge then handed down his sen­tence, life plus 25 years in prison.

Rivera is sched­uled to stand trial again on April 24 for his al­leged in­volve­ment in a gang rape of a woman in 2010. The DNA sam­ple col­lected dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port­edly linked him as one of four men who took turns sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman at a Wal­dorf house be­fore she was able to es­cape.

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