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Rhode Island Man, 18, Admits To Coming To Palmdale To Try To Have Sex With 12-Year-Old Girl

LOS ANGELES ( —  Authorities said an 18-year-old Rhode Island man has pleaded no contest to charges he flew to Southern California to have sex with a 12-year-old girl.

The Los Angeles County DA's office said Wednesday that Joel Rivera entered his plea to one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, distributing or showing pornography to a minor and contact with a minor for sexual purposes.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 15 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Antelope Valley Branch.

Deputy DA Jon Hatami said Rivera began contacting the Palmdale girl through an anonymous webcam chatting app in August. Rivera exchanged sexually explicit images with the child for nearly a month through various messaging apps, the prosecutor added.

When the girl's mother became aware that Rivera planned to fly to the LA area from Rhode Island to have meet and have sex with her daughter, the mother contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Rivera was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Sept. 3.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Special Victims Bureau.

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