A Gaithersburg man who failed to show up at his trial was found guilty Friday of sexually abusing a teen girl whose mother police said offered her daughter for sexual favors to pay back a $5,000 debt.
Bejarni Rivas, 45, faces more than 100 years in prison, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office announced Friday. Rivas was convicted of human trafficking, sex abuse with a minor and third-degree sex offense with a minor, in addition to related conspiracy and solicitation charges.
A Circuit Court judge granted a motion to proceed with the trial “in absentia” after Rivas failed to appear in court Oct. 1. Rivas had posted bond—which had been lowered from $500,000 to $100,000—and surrendered his passport, court records show.
Rivas' whereabouts were unknown.
The teen was abused twice in the male and female changing rooms of the Georgian Colonies Club House in Silver Spring between December 2012 and March 2013—ending after the teen told a relative and then went to police, Patch has reported.
When the teen girl pleaded with her mother not be forced
to have sex with Rivas, according to records filed in court, her mother
reportedly told her, “I’ve done bad things to make you have a good life, go
The mother later told police that she owed Rivas $5,000 but claimed she didn't know anything about any sexual abuse between Rivas and her daughter, according to court records.
The mother was convicted of sex abuse, rape and related
charges for her role in the crime. Patch is withholding the name of the mother
to protect the identity of the teen.
A sentencing date for Rivas had not yet been set.