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Church youth group leader charged in sexual assault of teen

Updated: November 27, 2013 6:08AM



A church youth group leader sexually assaulted a teenage girl he met through his volunteer work at the house of worship earlier this month, Cook County prosecutors alleged Friday.

Michael Rivera played video games with the teen’s 13-year-old nephew in between the intermittent attacks in the victim’s bedroom in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, Assistant State’s Attorney Latoya Croswell said.

The night before, Rivera, 22, had allegedly driven the two teens home after a youth group meeting at the church, which police reports indicated was the CityLights church on the Northwest Side.

Rivera started playing video games with the boy and soon the teenage girl started dozing off on Rivera’s shoulder, Croswell said.

The girl’s mother and sister had already gone to bed and when the teen decided to call it a night, Rivera walked her to her bedroom, Croswell said.

There, Rivera allegedly made the girl fondle him after she got into bed.

Meanwhile, the 13-year-old boy got suspicious and went to his aunt’s bedroom where he saw Rivera zipping up his pants, Croswell said.

Rivera came back and started playing video games with the boy again, Croswell said.

But Rivera returned to the girl’s bedroom once again, this time making her perform oral sex on him, Croswell said.

The boy tailed Rivera again, and again saw him zipping up his pants, Croswell said.

The boy also took a picture of the semen that Rivera left on the girl’s bed, Croswell said.

The boy went back to playing video games with Rivera, but when Rivera finally left the Chicago residence, the boy woke up his mother and grandmother and showed them the picture.

When the two women confronted the girl, she told them what happened, Croswell said.

The alleged incident was reported to the church pastor and Rivera, of Glendale Heights, was arrested on Wednesday.

Croswell said Rivera abused his trust, but an assistant public defender argued that the victim was close in age to Rivera and that the sexual acts were consensual.

Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Rivera held in lieu of $50,000 bail Friday.

Church officials were unavailable for comment.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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