AP NEWS

Man convicted of raping teen after returning lost dog

May 23, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — A local man was convicted Thursday of raping a teenaged girl after returning her lost dog.

The six-member Superior Court jury deliberated five hours over two days before finding 32-year-old Robert Rivera guilty of first-degree sexual assault.

Rivera, of Pearl Harbor Street, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge Kevin Russo on July 19.

“The jury worked conscientiously to arrive at the appropriate verdict,” Senior State’s Attorney Ann Lawlor said later.

On July 28, 2016, police said they were dispatched to a Pearl Harbor home for a sex assault.

The 18-year-old victim told police she had been home alone when her dog got out of the house and ran away, police said.

A short time later Rivera, a neighbor, knocked on the girl’s door holding her lost pup, police said. The girl grabbed the dog and put him in her bedroom and when she returned, police said, Rivera was still standing in the doorway.

They said Rivera grabbed the girl, threw her down on a couch in the living room, ripped her clothes off and raped her as she screamed for help. Rivera then fled the home, police said.

The girl was taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

Police said they confronted Rivera and while he admitted returning the girl’s lost dog, they said he denied raping her.

But police said they took a DNA sample from Rivera and it matched DNA evidence taken from the girl.

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