LANCASTER – An 18-year-old Rhode Island man who pleaded no contest to charges that he arranged to meet a 12-year-old Palmdale girl for a sexual encounter was sentenced Friday to a year in county jail and ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Joel Rivera was also ordered to undergo one year of sex offender counseling, perform 30 days of community labor and serve five years on probation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Superior Court Judge Frank Tavelman suspended a five-year, eight-month state prison term that Rivera will not have to serve unless he violates the terms of his probation.
Rivera pleaded no contest March 23 to one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, contact with a minor for sexual purposes and distributing or showing pornography to a minor.
Rivera began contacting the girl through an anonymous webcam chatting app last August, just after he turned 18, 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 for a planned sexual encounter with her daughter, the prosecutor said.
Rivera was arrested last September after arriving at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.
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