New Bedford Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault of a Middle Schooler
A New Bedford man who was convicted of pedophilic acts and the sexual assault of a middle school girl has been sentenced to up to seven years in state prison and five more years of supervised probation.
According to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn’s Office, Juan Riz, 33, of New Bedford was convicted by a jury after a five-day trial in Fall River Superior Court earlier this month on indictments charging him with indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, attempted indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, enticing a minor, lewd and lascivious acts, and perjury.
The incident occurred on May 31, 2017, when Riz offered the girl a ride home from school after seeing her walking in the rain. Since the victim knew Riz, she accepted the ride.
However, Riz only drove a short way before pulling over. He then began masturbating in front of the victim, before trying to force her hand onto him for the same purpose. He then grabbed her chest over her clothes. When he tried to remove her sweatshirt, the victim broke free and ran for help.
At the time, Riz was on probation for an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon conviction. His arrest for the 2017 incident triggered a probation violation hearing, in which Riz committed perjury by testifying under oath that the victim never got in his truck, and that he’d only asked her if she’d seen his girlfriend’s daughter. However, the D.A.’s Office said that recorded jail phone conversations revealed Riz did tell his girlfriend that he picked up the victim and she entered his truck.
“The defendant engaged in perverted and very offensive criminal conduct against the victim, who was just trying to get home from school. He was on probation when he committed these crimes and is clearly a danger to the community,” District Attorney Quinn said.