BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — DANVERS — A Florida man and a Danvers woman are facing child rape charges after allegedly forcing a teenage girl to engage in sexual acts with both of them during a visit to the woman’s home in 2011.
Luis Rivera, 46, of Kissimmee, Fla., was arraigned yesterday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated child rape; his former girlfriend Gaudy Asenjo, 34, of 13 Walcott Road, Danvers, pleaded not guilty to the same charge last month.
As Rivera, who his lawyer says is on a waiting list for a heart transplant, cried and held his hands on his chest, prosecutor Michelle DeCourcey told a judge that the girl and her family arrived at the Danvers police station on Jan. 2 to make a report.
The girl told police that while staying with Asenjo, a relative, during the 2011 February school vacation week, she was allowed to drink and smoke marijuana. During one such incident, Asenjo allegedly bragged to the girl about her boyfriend “Macho,” and his sexual prowess. She then suggested that he could do the same with the girl.
The girl said Rivera showed up and that Asenjo watched and sometimes participated as Rivera engaged in various sexual acts, DeCourcey told the court. The girl was 14 at the time.
The girl later confided in Asenjo that she feared she had become pregnant; the woman allegedly told the girl she could just blame it on a boy at school if that happened.
Rivera and Asenjo are no longer involved, and during questioning by police Asenjo said “Luis and I did a lot of bad things when we were together,” but denied that she took part in sexually assaulting the girl.
“He did it because she let him,” Asenjo told police, according to a police report. “She wasn’t forced. She wanted him to.”
Asenjo admitted allowing her own children and the girl to drink while in her home, but denied letting them smoke marijuana.
Rivera’s lawyer, David Gavegnano, said his client denies the charges. “He has told me he did not commit this crime and he wants his day in court,” said Gavegnano, who was arguing for a lower bail than the $75,000 sought by DeCourcey.
Gavegnano told a judge that Rivera recently underwent heart surgery and is now awaiting a transplant.
The lawyer also questioned the validity of the charges, based on a report of an incident that was nearly two years ago, and suggested that Asenjo was coerced by police into implicating Rivera because she was threatened with losing custody of her children.
Judge Richard Mori granted the prosecution’s request for $75,000 cash bail.
Rivera was brought back from Florida, where he was arrested on a warrant last month. Prosecutors expressed concern that he might return there if released.
Asenjo’s bail was set at $10,000 on April 8.
Both have been ordered to have no contact with the girl or her family while the case is pending.
They are due back in court on June 5 for a probable cause hearing.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.