Rivers Sexual Assault Trial: Sentenced

UPDATE: Judge Brotherton sentenced Danny Richard Rivers Jr. to serve a total of 42 years in prison. He will serve 30 years for Sexual Abuse of a Child Continuous, three years each for the second and third offense of Indecency With a Child Sexual Contact, two years for one count of Indecency With a Child Exposure, and two years for the fifth and sixth counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

The first four counts will be served consecutively and the last two will be concurrent.  Rivers will be in prison for at least 34 years.

30 years for first offense, 3 years each for the 2nd and 3rd offenses and 2 years each for the 4th-6th offenses. They will be stacked.

Newschannel 6 is following an intense sexual assault trial.  Newschannel 6 has been live in the court room for Danny Richard Rivers Jr's trial.

Danny Richard Rivers Jr., 30, is facing 6 counts:

1. Sexual Abuse of a Child Continuous

2. Indecency With a Child Sexual Contact

3. Indecency With a Child Sexual Contact

4. Indecency With a Child Exposure

5. Possession of Child Pornography

6. Possession of Child Pornography

Newschannel 6 obtained the arrest affidavit filed against Rivers, as well as the indictment. Paperwork filed by the Wichita Falls Police Department states officers began investigating Rivers in November of 2009. The investigation centered on two children younger than 17.

Police reported Rivers assaulted one victim more than 100 times. They also reported Rivers assaulted the second victim more than 20 times, but less than 50 times.

Police conducted a search at Rivers' residence. The report states they found evidence supporting the victims' statements.

Day 1: Testimony

Emotions were high in the courtroom on the first day of trial, February 14th.  Two young children shared their accounts on what they say was sexual abuse by Rivers.  The children were asked to give details remembering back to the times they say Rivers was sexually inappropriate with them.

Day 2: Testimony

Eight witness was called to the stand.  The court heard from a long time friend of Rivers who says there were times that he felt uncomfortable with some of Rivers' behaviors and comments.

A nurse from United Regional was also a witness.  She specializes in examining victims of sexual abuse.  The nurse explained the exam records of both of the alleged victims showed no physical trauma to their bodies.

Court will continue Thursday, February 16th at 8:30am.  Newschannel 6 will be in the courtroom following this developing case. We will provide continuous updates on our live courtroom Twitter feed.

Day 3: Testimony

Day three of the Rivers trial got off to a late start.  Court was scheduled to resume at 8:30am, but was pushed back until 1:30pm.  Judge Bob Brotherton announced that one jury member would not be able to make it to the courthouse due to medical issues.  Judge Brotherton excused the juror from the case.

The judges coordinator says the trial will continue with eleven jurors instead of the normal twelve.  There will not be an alternate juror.  Newschannel 6 left a message for Judge Brotherton asking if the loss of a juror could affect the trial or possibly make it appealable.  No word back from the Judge yet.

Despite the delay, four witnesses spoke today.  A forensic interviewer testified.  She shared detailed notes about the interviews she did with the two children who say Rivers sexually assaulted them.  Very graphic details were discussed from both children's interview reports.

Court will resume Friday, February 17th at 9am.  Newschannel 6 will continue to tweet live updates from the courtroom.

Day 4: Testimony

The state closed its case today around eleven this morning.  Judge Bob Brotherton says the jury will return Tuesday to begin deliberation.

The 4th day of the Rivers trial started with the State calling their last two witnesses.  The court heard from Danny Richard Rivers Jr. for the first time today.  Rivers says he will not testify in the trial.

The Defense then called their first and only witness.  The witness is a family member of Rivers. The Defense asked him to give a timeline of when he and Rivers were out of town at the time the victims say they were assaulted.  He was not able to give dates.

The jury will begin deliberation Tuesday, February 21st at 9am.

Day 5: Deliberation

Both the Defense and the State gave their closing arguments.  The State told the jury this case is about putting a stop to evil and the Defense fired back saying the State had done one of the "sloppiest jobs" they had ever seen in trial.

The jury was recessed to begin deliberation just after 11a.m.  They had an hour break for lunch and continued to deliberate.

The jury prepared their verdict at 3:25p.m.  Rivers and his family were very emotional as Judge Brotherton announced the jury found Rivers guilty on all six charges of sexual assault.

After a short break, the punishment phase began.  The Defense called a witness, a family member of Rivers to the stand.  The witness told the jury that Rivers was a hard worker and this trial was hurting his family.  He also said he respected the jury's decision and that he hoped they would not choose a punishment that might discourage other young sex abuse victims to come forward if they were in a similar situation.

Rivers was called to the stand again and still said he would not testify.

The punishment phase will continue tomorrow, Wednesday February 22 at 9a.m.

Rivers was arrested and taken into custody by sheriff's deputies.

Day 6: Sentencing

After deliberating for about two hours the jury presented their punishment recommendation to the court.  Judge Bob Brotherton decided on their recommendation.

State Prosecutor, John Gillespie said,"We're very pleased with the verdict of the jury.  They really made the streets of Wichita Falls a lot safer.  They took a child predator who preys on innocent children out of our community and they basically threw away the key."

He said the victims' family is happy with the outcome and that a big message was sent to child predators today.

Gillespie said, "I think it sends the message if you prey on children the District Attorney's Office will come after you, prosecute you, juries will convict you and judges and juries will put you away."

A family member of the victims read the victims' impact statement.  She said the young children will have to deal and learn to cope with what was done to them for the rest of their lives.

Defense Attorney Mark Barber said this may not be over.

"We respect the jury's decision, but obviously we felt that our client was not guilty and we are disappointed in that.  We felt like since they believed the acts, sentencing was probably fair, but we intend to go forward with the motion for new trial and try to get our client a new trial and have it heard again," Barber said.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.