DA: Suspect in Amesbury girl's death may have 12-plus victims

Carlos Rivera is arraigned at Essex County Superior Court after several indictments, including distribution of fentanyl, were handed down against him in connection with the death of Chloe Ricard, 13, of Amesbury.AMANDA SABGA/Staff photo

LAWRENCE — In addition to 13-year-old Chloe Ricard of Amesbury, prosecutors now believe Carlos Rivera may have sexually assaulted and provided drugs to “more than a dozen potential victims,” according to District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.

Ricard died May 20 after the 47-year-old Lawrence man left her at the Lawrence General Hospital emergency room. Rivera was charged in connection with her death May 25 and later indicted by a Essex County grand jury on charges of aggravated rape, indecent sexual assault, and distribution of cocaine and fentanyl.

At Rivera’s Superior Court arraignment July 19, prosecutor Jessica Strasnick obtained an impoundment order for documents in the case, writing in court paperwork the release of such information “could have a catastrophic effect on the ongoing investigation.” 

But on Monday, The Boston Globe published a story quoting investigative documents in the case that say Rivera had more than 7,000 photographs of girls “estimated to be in their teenage years” and evidence of pornographic web searches on his phone.

Investigators also conducted interviews with Rivera and teenage girls. A toxicology report showed Ricard’s body tested positive for both cocaine and fentanyl during an autopsy, according to the story. 

Rivera is accused of recording his assaults on the teenage girls at his Bellevue Street apartment and “solicited sexually explicit photographs from the girls he victimized,” according to The Boston Globe story. 

Nunchucks and metal knuckles and a pair of sneakers belonging to Ricard were found during a police search of Rivera’s apartment.

While he was a mechanic by trade, Rivera was known to sell drugs, including fentanyl, pills, cocaine and marijuana, the Globe reported. 

A woman who previously partied at Rivera’s apartment said she saw girls as young as 13 there and that Rivera would give the girls narcotics in exchange for sex acts, according to the story. 

Other details from the documents, included in The Boston Globe story, are:

¢ An affidavit contained information on interviews with Rivera, Ricard’s teenage friend, and two women who said they know Rivera.

¢ Items seized during a search of Rivera’s apartment May 29 included several boxes of photographs, a laptop computer, a digital video recorder, thumb drives, letters and a notebook. 

¢ Rivera, in an interview with police, denied doing drugs and said he never had sexual contact with Ricard. 

Carrie Kimball, Blodgett’s spokeswoman, said the documents were given to a Globe reporter “in error.” 

The documents have now been reimpounded, blocked from press or public view, until Sept. 26, she said. 

“We do still believe that release of these and other documents would compromise the grand jury investigation,” Kimball wrote in an email to The Eagle-Tribune, a sister paper of The Daily News.

“We believe release of this information prior to completion of the grand jury investigation will make it more difficult to obtain truthful information from potential victims and witnesses and to corroborate information we already have.” 

“We believe that there are more than a dozen potential victims. It is difficult to be more precise at this time since we are still actively (investigating) and the publication of this information may hamper our ability to identify all of them,” Kimball said. 

Rivera remains held at Middleton Jail. 

Investigators said he was known “to have young girls ranging in ages from 13 to 16 years old at his apartment and would produce drugs and alcohol for them to use/consume,” according to a previously released Lawrence police report. 

Witnesses told police Rivera gave the girls “cocaine and marijuana” and they “would also drink alcohol in his apartment,” according to the report, written by Lawrence Detective Timothy Yerian.

The police investigation revealed Rivera was with two teens May 19. A girl, age 16, said she saw Rivera sexually assault the other girl and that Rivera provided “cocaine on a mirror” that was snorted with a straw.

Another teen told police she had been at Rivera’s Bellevue Street apartment May 17 or 18 and “during that time Rivera touched her indecently and without her consent,” according to Yerian’s report.

On May, 20, after Rivera left Ricard at Lawrence General, he walked over to a “water drainage sewer,” just feet away from his vehicle and threw something away, according to Yerian’s report.

Rivera “then got down on both of his knees and made certain those items went down the sewer. Investigators recovered two white straws that were cut, an orange cigarette filter, and a plastic twisty with a white powdery substance believed to be illegal narcotics,” Yerian wrote.

Blodgett’s office has not formally identified Ricard as the teen who died at the emergency room, however, her family has said Ricard was the victim.

Ricard, a former Amesbury public school student, most recently attended Solstice Day School in Rowley.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.