ELIZABETH, NJ - An Elizabeth man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two children at various times over the course of more than a decade, starting when the two victims were 7 and 10 years old, according to authorities. 

Desiderio Rivera, 55, from Elizabeth is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree luring, two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of fourth-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan. 

Authorities said an investigation dating back to late last year revealed that Rivera had sexually abused the victims at various times from approximately June 2007 to May 2018, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Zyriek, who is prosecuting the case. 

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Both victims were allegedly assaulted while being cared for by a girlfriend of Rivera’s who babysat neighborhood children at the home they shared on Spring Street in Elizabeth, Zyriek said. 

Rivera was taken into custody earlier this week and lodged in the Union County Jail, with a detention hearing tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 5. 

Anyone with further information about Rivera’s activities is being urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Ryan Kirsh at 908-965-3886 or Sgt. Sofia Santos at 908-577-4256.  

Convictions on crimes of this nature are commonly punishable by 20 years to life in state prison.  

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