LANCASTER – A Rhode Island man who allegedly arranged to meet a 12-year-old Palmdale girl for a sexual encounter was ordered Friday to be jailed on $140,000 bail.
Superior Court Judge Richard Naranjo agreed to the prosecution’s request to increase Joel Rivera‘s bail from $100,000 and ordered him to be taken into custody.
Rivera, 18, is set to be arraigned Nov. 9 in a Lancaster courtroom on one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, distributing or showing pornography to a minor, distributing or showing child or youth pornography to a minor, contact with a minor for sexual offense and arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes.
Prosecutors allege that Rivera began contacting a 12-year-old Palmdale girl through an anonymous webcham chatting app in August — just after he turned 18 – – and exchanging sexually explicit images with the child through various messaging apps, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami.
The girl’s mother contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after becoming aware that Rivera planned to fly from Rhode Island to allegedly have sex with her daughter, the prosecutor said
Rivera was arrested at Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Sept. 3 and freed the following day after a $100,000 bond was posted on his behalf.
If convicted as charged, Rivera could face up to eight years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau.