Elizabeth Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Two Minors for Over a Decade

An Elizabeth man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two minors numerous times over the course of more than a decade, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Friday.

Officials say Desiderio Rivera, 55, is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree luring, two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, and two counts of fourth-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact.

An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit dating back to late last year revealed that Rivera had sexually abused the victims at various times from approximately June 2007 to May 2018, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Zyriek, who is prosecuting the case.

According to authorities, both victims were allegedly assaulted while being cared for by a girlfriend of Rivera’s who babysat at the home they shared on Spring Street in Elizabeth, Zyriek said.

Officials say the abuse began when the two victims were 7 and 10 years old, respectively.

Police arrested Rivera without incident earlier this week. He was subsequently lodged in Union County Jail, with a detention hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 5.

Anyone with further information about Rivera’s activities is being urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Ryan Kirsh at 908-965-3886 or Sgt. Sofia Santos at 908-577-4256.  

Convictions on crimes of this nature are commonly punishable by 20 years to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.