A man has been charged with allegedly traveling to attempt to rape a Hudson Valley 13-year-old girl at an area hotel.
Thomas Rivera, age 32, of Lauderhill, Florida, was arrested on Tuesday, June 7, for communicating online with the girl and persuading her to meet him in Dutchess county to engage in sex, said Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
According to the allegations in the complaint filed on Friday, June 3, in White Plains federal court in April the town of Poughkeepsie Police department received a report from the town of Hyde Park Police regarding a 13-year-old girl being raped by Rivera at a hotel in the town of Poughkeepsie.
When officers arrived at the hotel they found. Rivera in a room, and the girl in the bathroom, the complaint said.
The victim told police that Rivera had attempted to rape her, court documents show.
In May, the FBI met with the victim who told agents she met Rivera online while playing video games online. They began to communicate, eventually moving to various gaming apps and social media outlets including Snapchat and Discord to "talk," the complaint said.
Rivera told the child he was soon turning 32 and repeatedly asked her to send him nude photos. He also told her he was going to come and see her and they made a plan for him to pick her up near her home, court documents said.
At the time of his arrest, Rivera had a phone with numerous sexually explicit messages between the two on Snapchat between February and April, the complaint said.
During an interview with Poughkeepsie police, Rivera allegedly told detectives that the two began speaking daily via phone and text and they discussed sex and that he traveled to New York to see the victim, court documents say.
He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse. He was released on bail.
There may be other victims of this alleged conduct. If you have information to report, contact the FBI through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
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