Man Charged With Rape in Connection With 11-Year-Old Girl's Death

A Massachusetts man who has been charged in connection with the death of his 11-year-old great niece is now facing a rape accusation.

The Essex district attorney's office confirmed that 58-year-old Miguel Rivera was arraigned on a charge of rape of a child with force on Tuesday morning in Lawrence District Court during a dangerousness hearing.

The victim was not identified in court, but the DA's office said the charge stemmed from the autopsy of his great niece, 11-year-old Precious Wallaces.

The defendant was ordered to be held without bail in connection with the rape charge.

Rivera was ordered to be held without bail last week during his arraignment on multiple charges, including permitting serious bodily injury to a child, in connection with Wallaces' death in mid-December.

Investigators say Wallaces tested positive for fentanyl at Lawrence General Hospital after she was found unresponsive in her great uncle's Lawrence apartment on Dec. 15. The Haverhill middle schooler died days later at Tufts Medical Center.

A probable cause hearing for Rivera is scheduled for March 13.

The manner and cause of Wallaces' death is still undetermined, according to the DA's office, and once it's completed, Rivera may face more charges.

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