Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) authorities arrested a 43-year-old man on Friday after a child disclosed that the man had assaulted them at sleepovers at a friend’s house on more than one occasion.
Reyes Rivera-Zapata, of Durham, was charged with first degree kidnapping, two counts of first degree statutory sex offense and two counts of indecent liberties with a minor. He has previous convictions for driving while intoxicated.
The 10-year-old in the case told a friend that they were victimized while spending the night at another friend’s house. That friend in turn told a parent about the incident. The parent reported the matter to staff and the child’s school who then notified law enforcement. The assaults occurred on multiple occasions.
“Our agency approaches this type of case with concern for the child as our first priority, we do what is best for him or her,” Zachary Baldwin, the lead OCSO investigator in the case, said in an OCSO press release. “In this case, that meant I arranged for a Child Medical Exam (CME). A CME helps us minimize the number of times a child is asked to talk about what happened because we know that telling and re-telling about such events causes additional trauma. We want to minimize that as much as possible while still getting the detail needed for successful prosecution if that is what the child and his or her family wants to pursue.”
According to Ashley Woodlief, another OCSO investigator, a CME is comprehensive, and includes a medical exam to check for trauma or injury and a screening for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy depending on the victim’s age and gender.
“The CME involves a forensic interview designed to obtain the narrative detail about the event(s) without damaging any possible legal case through adult suggestion or leading questions,” she said in the release. “The CME report contains a section where recommendations are given for the future needs of the child, such as counseling, further medical treatment, and/or a limited or no contact order.”
Rivera-Zapata was booked into the Orange County Detention Center under a $100,000 bond. He was released on June 8 after a bail agent posted bond.
His first court date was on Monday, at which he was placed under the supervision of the pretrial release program. He is also barred from contact with the child and their parent/guardian and must stay outside of a one-mile radius of their home.
Rivera-Zapata is represented by Motta & Muñoz, PLLC, and his next court date is scheduled for June 24.
OCSO is asking that anyone with information about the case call OCSO at 929-245-2939 or call Baldwin directly at 919-245-2939.