Edwin Velez Rivera, 38, of Stroudsburg, was convicted Tuesday of twenty-two (22) counts of rape of a child, among other charges, following a four-year-long investigation into his repeated sexual abuses of two (2) children less than thirteen (13) years old.
On September 19, 2018, Detective Corporal Emily Raymond of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department began an investigation involving two female child victims who were reportedly sexually assaulted by the defendant, Edwin Velez -Rivera. The assaults began in approximately 2012 and continued to occur in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey until approximately 2018. Several of the sexual assaults took place at Velez-Rivera’s residence in Stroudsburg.
Detective Raymond working with the Ocean County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, arranged for the victims to be forensically interviewed. The victims reported that Velez -Rivera forced them to participate in numerous sexual acts, including vaginal penetration, while in the attic of his Stroudsburg home. Velez -Rivera would show the children pornographic videos on his cell phone, force them to smoke marijuana, and threatened to kill their mother or hurt himself if they ever told anyone about the abuse. Both children were repeatedly sexually assaulted by Velez -Rivera in the attic.
During the investigation, Detective Corporal Raymond learned that Velez -Rivera had used his cell phone to take photographs and videos of the children during the sexual assaults. She also learned that Velez -Rivera had a laptop computer which he used to store the photographs and videos. From the information learned through the victim’s interviews, and further identification of locations where Velez -Rivera maintained residency, multiple search warrants were prepared by Detective Corporal Raymond and approved by Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski.
The searches located numerous electronic devices. These were forensically analyzed by Detective Brian Webbe of the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigations Division who was able to recover 316 still images and 31 recorded videos depicting the numerous rapes and sexual assaults of the victims.
Detective Corporal Raymond was able to identify Velez -Rivera both as the perpetrator in the still images and videos as well as the person recording the assaults. Velez–Rivera’s recordings captured his own voice, face, body, and tattoos in various images and videos. Additionally, Detective Webbe was able to determine the GPS location where the still images and videos were created as well as the dates and times of their creation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Matt Bernal and Michael Rakaczewski.
In all, Velez-Rivera was convicted of:
- twenty-two (22) counts of rape of a child less than thirteen (13) years old;
- two (2) counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child less than thirteen (13) years old;
- two (2) counts of corruption of minors;
- twenty-one (21) counts of production of child pornography;
- twenty-two (22) counts of possession of child pornography; and
- one (1) count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for May before the Honorable Judge Jonathan Mark following a sexual offender evaluation and pre-sentence investigation.