Massachusetts

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Charges in 13-Year-Old Girl's Death

Carlos Rivera was sentenced to 20-22 years in state prison in connection to the 2019 death of 13-year-old Chloe Ricard

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A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Friday to numerous charges related to the 2019 death of a 13-year-old Amesbury girl.

Carlos Rivera, 49, of Lawrence, appeared in Salem Superior Court in connection to the death of Chloe Ricard, where he pled guilty to 19 charges including rape, indecent assault and battery on a child, human trafficking and drug charges. There were 10 young female victims in all, including Chloe.

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Judge Tom Drechsler accepted the plea agreement after making sure Rivera understood all the charges he was pleading to.

Rivera, who was represented by Attorney Jeanne Early, was sentenced to 20-22 years in state prison, followed by 10 years of probation. Rivera has already served 991 days. Conditions of Rivera's future release would include GPS monitoring, registering as a sex offender, and no unsupervised contact with children under 18 or any of the victims in this case.

In court Friday, Essex County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick detailed the allegations that Rivera agreed were true, including recruiting teenage girls between 12-16 years old, and having them perform sex acts on each other and him in exchange for drugs and clothes, among other things.

Prosecutors said over a span of six years, Rivera repeatedly preyed on at least 10 girls and young women in his Lawrence apartment.

"He would give the girls food, drugs, alcohol, gifts, take them shopping at various places, out to eat — and all they had to do was something sexual to him, with him or in front of him," said Essex County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick.

Carlos Rivera pled guilty Friday to 19 charges in connection to the 2019 death of Chloe Ricard.

Several of Chloe's family members made emotional statements before the judge sentenced Rivera on Friday, including her grandfather, mom and brother.

"Every day is hell! I have no choice to walk through it," Chloe's mother, Deborah Goldsmith, said through tears in court. "Why did you not help her? Why did you not save her? I want my Chloe back!"

Chloe's older brother, Nick Ricard, was also emotional on the stand.

"We were supposed to protect her and we feel we failed her," he said. "He took my sister and I will never forgive him."

Chloe's grandfather, Bryce Goldsmith, said the family is grateful that "this nightmare has come to an end" and that Rivera's "day of reckoning is thankfully here."

"He deserves no less for the horror of what he has inflicted on our family," he said.

Addressing Rivera directly, Bryce Goldsmith said, "You are going to a place where you can no longer harm children for the majority of the rest of your life.”

But it was Chloe's mother who said she finally felt she got justice looking Rivera in the eye as he was sentenced.

"I hope you live in a filthy cage and haunted by my daughter's memory and the vile, disgusting things you did to her," Deborah Goldsmith said.

Chloe was left at Lawrence General Hospital on May 20, 2019, and died shortly after her arrival, prosecutors have previously said.

Days after Chloe's death, Rivera was arrested on charges that initially included indecent assault and battery on a child under 13 and giving drugs to a minor. Later, rape and distributing cocaine to a minor were added.

In September 2019, a grand jury in Essex County indicted Rivera on an involuntary manslaughter charge, along with charges accusing Rivera of human trafficking.

According to court documents previously obtained by The Boston Globe, prosecutors had said Rivera may have committed sex- and drug-related crimes against "more than a dozen" other victims. The court documents also showed allegations that Rivera had over 7,000 photos of teenage girls on his phone and more than 100 pictures of girls in his bedroom.

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