Santa Clara Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Production of Child Pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Jason T. Stevens, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations - El Paso, announced today that Michael Rivera was sentenced to 35 years in prison. A federal jury convicted Rivera, 33, of Santa Clara, on July 11, 2023, of one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and two counts of production of a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct after less than two hours of deliberation.
A federal grand jury indicted Rivera on Sept. 21, 2022. According to the evidence at trial and other publicly available court records, in 2020, Rivera befriended a minor identified as Jane Doe. Doe and Rivera became close. One day in March of 2021, when Doe was 12 years old, Rivera stopped at a convenience store and bought alcohol for both. He then drove to a secluded area of town and parked the car. Rivera then initiated sexual intercourse with Doe in the car. Afterward, Rivera told Doe that she could not tell anyone because he could get in trouble.
Following the incident, Rivera maintained contact with Doe by phone. Later that same year, Rivera began requesting that Doe send him naked photos and videos of herself via text message. Rivera received several items of child sexual abuse material from Doe.
At sentencing, the court found that Rivera gained Jane Doe’s family’s trust so that he could be alone with the victim, groomed her in preparation of commissioning a sexual act or sexual contact and was able to later entice her to produce child pornography.
Upon his release from prison, Rivera will be subject to 30 years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender.
Homeland Security Investigations investigated this case with the assistance of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the Las Cruces Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Marisa A. Ong, Eliot Neal and Matilda McCarthy Villalobos prosecuted the case.
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Updated January 17, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-21
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