Massachusetts Police Officer Charged With Raping 8-Year-Old Girl

Former Springfield police officer Emmanuel Rivera, as seen in this 2011 Republican file photo.

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts – A former Springfield police officer is facing a rape charge after allegedly sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.

Emmanuel Rivera, 30, of Springfield, pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of rape of a child by force and was held for a bail hearing Wednesday in Springfield District Court.

Rejecting a prosecutor’s request to hold Rivera without bail, Judge William Rota set bail at $5,000 and ordered Rivera to stay away from the victim and submit to GPS monitoring if he posts bail.

Assistant District Attorney Anna Lusardi said the victim was an 8-year-old girl who was reluctant to come forward with allegations against Rivera.

Before her interview with Springfield police, the victim “threw up three times — showing her level of fear,” the prosecutor said.

“He tried to convince her that she made it up, or that she was crazy,” she added.

The prosecutor also expressed concern about Rivera’s mental health, saying he has “anger issues” and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following a tour of Iraq with the Massachusetts National Guard.

A Springfield police officer since 2011, Rivera resigned because he was “unhappy with the force,” Lusardi said, without specifying when Rivera left the department.

When Rota said he would not deny bail to Rivera, Lusardi recommended setting his bail at $100,000, with orders to stay away from the victim and her school and wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, among other conditions.

Defense lawyer Terrence Dunphy asked for his client’s release on $1,000 cash bail, with orders to stay away from the victim and report once a week to a probation officer.

Rivera, a Springfield native, has no criminal record and surrendered to police Friday after learning an arrest warrant had been issued, Dunphy said.

He served eight years in the National Guard and was honorably discharged, but recently was declared 100 percent disabled due to post-traumatic stress, the lawyer said.

Given his family’s limited income, setting high cash bail would effectively be jailing Rivera before trial, Dunphy said.

The judge set bail at $5,000 and ordered Rivera to surrender his passport and any firearms if he is released. He also warned him against violating his bail terms if released.

No contact with the victim means “no apologies, no birthday cards, no email or no Facebook” messages, Rota said.

Rivera will be arrested “so quickly that your head will be spinning” and jailed for 90 days for violating his bail, the judge said.

Rivera is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on May 2.