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Suspected serial pedophile arrested

Police in Groves and Port Arthur believe a Groves youth soccer coach may be a serial pedophile and are seeking other victims or witnesses to sexual assault crimes against children.

Douglas Wilmer Rivera, 37, a Honduran immigrant, was arrested about 7:45 a.m. April 8 in the 2200 block of Cox Street for a charge of sexual assault of a child.

The alleged victim is a 15-year-old male, Port Arthur Police Det. Mickey Sterling said. At the time of the arrest Rivera was also served with an evidentiary search warrant for a sample of DNA.

The alleged incident occurred about 5 p.m. March 18 in the community of Port Acres.

Rivera, a coach with Gulf Coast Youth Soccer League in Groves, was under a current indictment by a Jefferson County grand jury on four separate counts of indecency with the same child that occurred in Groves.

The incidents related to the charges in Groves occurred between Oct. 2, 2009 and November 2009, according to the indictments. The child was a 10-year-old female.

“We feel, at this point, there may be other victims, Groves Police Det. Kirk Rice said. “Unfortunately, we’re waiting to see if more come forward.”

Rice said Rivera was very involved with the youth soccer league and other youth sports.

The child in Groves and her family sought counseling with the Garth House in Beaumont. The Garth House serves children who have been sexually or physically abused.

Perry Thomas, assistant criminal district attorney, said the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office is “very, very concerned” due to the multiple counts against Rivera.

“As a general rule, we take crimes against children seriously,” Thomas said. “With an individual like this defendant, we are very concerned and plan to give the case a lot of attention.”

Rivera was transferred to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility where bond was set at $10,000.

Both the charge of indecency with a child and sexual assault of a child are second degree felonies, punishable by a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Persons with information regarding the above mentioned cases or who wish to report a crime, can call PAPD at 983-8600 or Groves PD at 962-0244.

mmeaux@panews.com