SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A former Massachusetts police officer pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused an 8-year-old girl, reports MassLive.com.
According to court papers, a grand jury indicted Emmanuel Rivera on charges of aggravated rape of a minor and witness intimidation in March.
MassLive reports that Rivera, 30, was released in March on $5,000 bail, ordered to surrender his passport and to have no contact with the alleged victim or her family, and must wear a GPS monitoring device.
MassLive reports that at a bail hearing on March 21, Assistant District Attorney Anna Lusardi said the victim was reluctant to come forward with allegations against Rivera. Before her interview with Springfield police, the victim "threw up three times -- showing her level of fear," the prosecutor reportedly said.
MassLive reports that Lusardi added: "Rivera 'tried to convince her that she made it up, or that she was crazy.'"
The crimes are alleged to have occurred in January 2018.
The Springfield Police Department told CBS News that Rivera began work at the department in June 2011 and resigned in April 2017. According to a spokesperson, the allegations of abuse surfaced in January 2018 and the department investigated the case and applied for the warrant for Rivera's arrest.
MassLive reports that Rivera's defense attorney said his client served for eight years in the National Guard and was honorably discharged, but was recently deemed 100 percent disabled to to post-traumatic stress.
Rivera is reportedly due back in court at the end of May.