A Faribault man is charged with three counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct with a child. In a heavily redacted criminal complaint, the victim states that she was sexually assaulted several times between the ages of 5 and 11 by 3 different men who were members of her church, Evangelical Christian Spiritual Church in Faribault. (KYMN tried calling the number listed on a Facebook page twice. Each time the phone was picked up but there was no voice and then hung up). The girl, with support from her aunt, was interviewed on April 18th with a HOPE Center advocate present. The first man allegedly molested her and videotaped it when she was between 5 and 7 years old. The victim said she told her parents about it a
year ago and stated that the church did its own “investigation” and suspended the man. Another unidentified man took her to the basement of the Pastor’s home and sexually assaulted her. It’s believed that he has fled Minnesota. The accused, 34 year old Israel Rivera, molested her in between 2008 and 2011 when she was between 8 and 11 years old. In the complaint, Rivera tells law enforcement that he was “on Parole” from the church for viewing pornography. When the young victim’s name was brought up, he became visibly upset and then confessed to “touching the girl” and later admitted to more than. When asked why he thought that was okay, Rivera said, “we were close family. She would stand next to me and she wasn’t pushing me away”. “It felt like she voluntarily came to me”. Rivera was released and then later arrested for public safety reasons, according to the complaint. Bail has been set at $30,000 with conditions. His initial court appearance is August 30th. Rivera has 4 children. Two of those children were playmates of the victim’s little sister at the time of the incidents. Rivera remains in the Rice County jail. Each count carries up to 30 years in prison.
Nfld Superintendent lays out 4 goals
Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann proposed 4 goals to the School Board which align with their strategic plan. One of them is a successful operation of the operating levy and bond referendum in November. Another goal is the successful launch of the 2nd step Social/Emotional Learning curriculum being implemented in Grades K-8. Hillmann says they are also working very hard on K-5 Reading curriculum. They plan to implement that in 2019. Finally, what has been called the district advisory council will become Northfield Forward, refreshing the strategies with some tweaks. Hillmann said, “it’s a very important group of people, a very important group of stakeholders who are giving some feedback about our strategic plan, are we fulfilling what we said we’re going to try to do, are there things we might need to look at differently on the fly?”. The Board will vote at their next meeting.
Assessments, step increases and budgets on Nfld Council agenda
The Northfield City Council will continue their street assessment hearing for one property tonight, 1900 Sibley View Ln. They’re scheduled to vote on one of two possibilities with a $1,000 difference. The regular agenda includes a vote on the entire 2017 street assessments. Other items include a resolution for a step in the 2018 base pay for certain non-union employees. (City Clerk, Community Development Director, Chief of Police, Director of Library & IT Services, Public Works Director/City Engineer, Communications & Human Resources Director, Deputy Chief of Police and Liquor Store Manager) There will be a review of the proposed budgets for the Liquor Store and Public Works. City Administrator Ben Martig and Mayor Pownell will be in studio tomorrow morning at 7:20 with a recap.