SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Sept. 4, 2012) — A Fort Leonard Wood sergeant faces charges of stealing from a St. Robert store and providing alcohol to minors at a party with underage drinking and sex, according to Pulaski County circuit court records.
Jill M. Rivera, 33, of St. Robert, could spend two to seven years in state prison for the Class C felony charge of first-degree child welfare endangerment in which she provided alcohol to minors in her home. Prosecutors say thsat while knowing that a 14-year-old girl “was intoxicated, (Rivera) failed to provide proper care for (the girl) and allowed (her) to be subjected to deviate sexual intercourse by multiple individuals.”
When meeting with deputies earlier this year to discuss the allegations, according to court records, Rivera “requested that if we return to arrest her, that her work (the US Army) not be involved.”
The child welfare endangerment case was filed Friday, according to court records, and involves a Jan. 27 sex and alcohol party at Rivera’s home. It is unrelated to the earlier store case.
In the store case, according to court records, Rivera had made two fraudulent refunds on May 19 for $218.62 and on May 21 for $310.58. The loss prevention manager for the Maurice’s store in St. Robert told city police that Rivera, a part-time employee, “had admitted to making the two fraudulent refunds and had completed a voluntary statement admitting to the crime,” a statement in which “Rivera also apologized and stated she wanted to pay back the $529.20 to the store.” Prosecutors charged Rivera on June 18 with two Class C felonies, one accusing her of stealing more than $500 and the other of forgery by writing a false merchandise return form. She could receive two to seven years in state prison and a fine up to double the value of Rivera’s gain from the crime, according to court records. She was arraigned on Aug. 24 and pleaded innocent.
While the child welfare endangerment charge carries the same maximum penalty as the store case, all being Class C felonies, the underage drinking and sex party involves numerous other people, some but not all of whom have been charged with offenses.
According to court records, a 14-year-old girl reported on Feb. 1 that she went to a party on Highway Y north of St. Robert in which she “was furnished alcohol by Jill Rivera whom (she) identified as the mother of the house” and said “Rivera provided a large number of party goers,” possibly as many as 20, with various types of alcoholic drinks.
The girl said that while attending the Jan. 27 party, she “became extremely intoxicated” and was “sodomized by several individuals,” three of whom have been charged separately in the case. It wasn’t the first party, according to the girls’ father, who “interjected during the interview that a similar party had occurred several weeks earlier and he had attempted to get law enforcement involvement to no avail.”
Two participants at the party, one of whom was 17 and the other of whom was 18 at the time of the party, both said “Rivera knew what was going on” and had provided alcohol to minors including the girl, who one of them said “was sloppy drunk and falling down all over the place.”
Deputies said they called Rivera on Feb. 1 who “denied any party and stated that some minor children had shown up at her house but that she made them leave.” The next day, deputies re-interviewed the girl who said she had talked to another child who said family members “had discussed the situation and decided that when questioned, they would tell the police that there had been no party at the residence.”
After checking area liquor stores, surveillance video showed Rivera, accompanied by a juvenile female, entering the store to purchase Four Loko brand alcohol.
Another juvenile participant at the party told deputies about two weeks later on Feb. 16 that “not only did Rivera know what was going on at the party with all the drinking, but that Rivera had told (three boys) to take (the girl) to the exercise room.” An 18-year-old girl told deputies another week later on Feb. 25 that she had been at the party, that Rivera had provided alcohol to minors, and that Rivera had asked her to take the victim with her but she refused to do so.
Rivera “was intoxicated herself” as well as providing alcohol to minors, according to a statement by another participant at the party; still another participant confirmed the same information.
The 18-year-old girl who refused to take the victim with her told deputies in March that “not only did Rivera have knowledge that minors were drinking, she (Rivera) was fully aware that minors were engaging in sexual activity within the residence.” That awareness includes looking on while the victim forcibly sodomized on at least two occasions, according to witness statements in court records.
Confronted with the allegations, Rivera continued to deny the existence of the party, claiming that one of her accusers “had just been released from rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction.”