CRIME

Bejarni Rivas found guilty of human trafficking, sex abuse

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(WJLA) - A Gaithersburg man has been found guilty of human trafficking and sexually abusing an underage girl.

Prosecutors say Bejarni Rivas, 45, raped a 14-year-old girl so that her mother could pay off her debt to him.

From December 2012 to March 2013, prosecutors say Rivas raped the victim twice in the changing rooms at Silver Spring's Georgian Colonies Club House while the girl's mother waited outside.

Authorities say the woman owed Rivas $5,000 and that the victim was given $100 for each sex act.

"Mr. Rivas was a predator who took advantage of a vulnerable young girl and used the debt her mother owed to pressure her into sexual acts," said Ramon Korionoff, public affairs director for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.

The victim's mother was found guilty of 10 counts including sex abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, human trafficking, and second-degree rape.
She faces a sentence that could exceed 100 years.

Rivas' guilty counts include human trafficking, sex abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, and conspiracy. He faces over 100 years in prison.

Rivas was also found guilty of absentia. After being released on bond, he vanished. It's believed he fled to Nicaragua.

Sentencing will be determined.

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