32-year-old arrested, charged with child molestation: Suspect pleads not guilty, held on $1M bond

Manuel Anthony Rivera Jr. (Booking photo/BPD)

On Aug. 26, 32-year-old Manuel Anthony Rivera Jr. appeared at the Riverside County Superior Courthouse’s Indio Larson Justice Center for a settlement conference hearing in relation to charges of four felony counts alleging violations of PC (Penal Code) Section 288.7(A), engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under the age of 10; and one felony count alleging violation of PC Section 269(a)(3), aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to court records, Rivera has plead not guilty to all charges and is currently held in the custody of Riverside County Sheriff’s Indio Jail with an ordered bail of $1,000,000.

On Aug. 20, Rivera was picked up by the Blythe Police Department (BPD) on a warrant related to the investigation.

“Pursuant to section 1108 of the Evidence Code, evidence of the defendant’s commission of other acts of sexual offenses may be admissible at trial in a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of a sexual offense,” states the Riverside County District Attorney’s filed complaint. “The People hereby give notice of the People’s intent to admit evidence of prior sexual acts pursuant to Evidence Code section 1108. These incidents include the prior incident(s) described in the police report, chronological report, and/or tapes already provided, and other alleged incidents of abuse, which will be provided as they are obtained by the prosecution.”

The charges are alleged to have occurred between the span of several years and locations, and involve two victims.

A conflict defense panel was reported in the hearing’s minutes due to a conflict of interest with the public defender.

A continuance was motioned by the defense, not opposed by the prosecution, which moved the case’s felony settlement conference to the morning of Sept. 5.

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