Hearing Rescheduled For Accused Springdale Child Predator

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) – A suspected Springdale child predator was scheduled to be in court on Wednesday morning (July 8), but his hearing was rescheduled, officials say.

Julian Rivera’s hearing was pushed back to Oct. 5 at 7:45 a.m., according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

In April, he pleaded not guilty to felony charges against him.

Rivera was charged with four counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of possessing a visual medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child and two counts of engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in a visual or print medium. He was also charged with nine counts of sexual indecency with a child, according to the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

He is being held on a $150,000 bond.

Springdale detectives arrested Rivera on February 25 following the attempted kidnapping and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl as she walked home after school, according to a news release from police.

Police later identified Rivera as a suspect in more than 30 additional crimes against children in Northwest Arkansas. Detectives said they believe Rivera was collecting sexual content involving local children since at least mid-2014.

Authorities said Rivera also has thousands of videotaped images of hundreds of others girls. Most of his victims are Hispanic and Marshallese, police said.

While some of the videotaped images are explicit and involve girls as young as 4 years old, other images were taken at parks and other public places where he taped inappropriate parts of the children’s bodies, police said. Rivera did not make contact with any of those children, and it doesn’t appear the children were aware they were being videotaped, police said.

Police said Rivera’s criminal activity escalated from taking videos and pictures of children from a distance to luring children in to talk with him by asking for directions or talking about a lost puppy, then he moved on to grabbing and sexually assaulting his victims.

“At the end, he was engaging in some pretty horrific sexual acts with children,” Sgt. Bryan Johnson said.

Johnson said there were some areas of Springdale were Rivera felt more comfortable seeking out victims. They include many neighborhoods on the east side of the city, as well as Applegate Apartments near Jones Elementary School and Eastwood Apartments on Mountain Road. Detectives found videos and photos that were also taken in Fayetteville, Rogers and Bentonville, but the majority of them come from Springdale, Johnson said.

Rivera lived with his parents, who told investigators they were not aware of his criminal activities, and worked at Central States Manufacturing in Lowell, according to police.

Johnson said Rivera was not cooperative during their investigation and showed no remorse regarding the acts he’s accused of committing.