COVINGTON, Ky. — An eight-year-old girl’s letter to Jesus, found tucked away in her Bible, has led authorities to her rapist, who is now facing sodomy and child sexual abuse charges.
According to reports, in October 2013, police were called to a Covington-area elementary school to investigate a report that a child had been sexually abused. They were presented with a note written by an eight-year-old female student, which had been found in her Bible.
“It was addressed to Jesus, and the note disclosed how the defendant … had been sexually abusing her, and pleading with Jesus to have the abuse stop,” Kenton County Prosecutor Kate Bennett told WLOX-TV.
Covington Police Detective Nick Klaiss said that the letter was key in helping officials identify her abuser.
“It was very detailed—the allegations that she put in the Bible—so, in that sense it make the case easier,” he said.
The little girl was also questioned, and during the interview, she not only described repeated incidents of sexual abuse, but also lamented that her abuser had shown her pornographic images on his phone and in magazines.
When officials subsequently searched the home of 36-year-old Eric Rivera, they found the magazines exactly as the girl had said. They also found 186 pornographic images on his mobile phone.
Rivera was then arrested and charged with several felonies, including first degree sodomy, first degree sexual abuse and distribution of obscene material to minors.
Legal proceedings over the matter have taken nearly two years. Following agreement to a plea deal, on May 28th, Rivera plead guilty to the charges and could face up to 25 years behind bars.
“Although 25 years doesn’t seem like enough for the Defendant to serve based on the heinous and unspeakable crimes he committed, it saves the child victim from being further traumatized by reliving her nightmare of abuse,” Bennett said in a statement.
“The law mandates a defendant has the right to ‘face his accuser,’ regardless of whether the accuser is an adult or a young child,” she continued. “In addition, a guilty plea means that the defendant forfeits his right to appeal, so the victim gets closure rather than years of uncertainty.”
Bennett said that the case was especially moving considering the letter to Jesus that the little girl had left in her Bible.
“It makes you cry, doesn’t it? It’s hard not to, as a human. Your instinct is to be compassionate and to take care of children,” she stated. “Every case is hard, but when a child comes so honestly to ask help from God, it’s a tough thing to swallow.”