The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
(You can read my previous post about Douglas Rivera here.)
Yesterday, Douglas Rivera, pastor of God’s Gypsy Christian Church in Glendale, California, pleaded not guilty to committing a lewd act against an eleven-year-old Chinese girl. Rivera insists he is innocent, saying “I did not do nothing wrong. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.” An NBC-4 report states that Rivera exposed himself to two minor girls and inappropriately touched one of them. Video evidence puts Rivera at the scene of the alleged crimes. NBC-4 reports:
Prosecutors say Rivera drove to the Vanllee Hotel and Suites, at 1211 E. Garvey St., and parked his truck in front of a room where two young girls were staying on Feb. 7. Prosecutors allege he exposed himself to the girls before entering the hotel room and inappropriately touching one of them.
The girls had opened the door, believing it was their chaperone, according to police.
Authorities released surveillance video and still shots of the suspect, which they said resulted in numerous calls from people who are part of or associated with God’s Gypsy Christian Church. The callers said they believed the man was Rivera, who subsequently proclaimed his innocence in a video shot before he surrendered on Feb. 11 to Covina police, tearfully asking people to keep him in prayer.
Rivera’s bail has been set at $1.1 million.