Former Big Rock pastor from Winfield guilty of sexually abusing a child

A former pastor of a Big Rock church was found guilty of sexually abusing a child.

Mark Rivera, 49, of Winfield was found guilty of two counts of felony predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and three felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Feb. 10.

Rivera was a lay pastor at the Anglican Church of North America in Big Rock when he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 multiple times between June 2018 and May 2019, according to a news release from the Kane County state's attorney's office. The abuse was reported to authorities after the victim told her mother.

“Mr. Rivera is a predator who used his position of respectability and stature in a church and within the community to prey on this child with no consideration for the trauma he caused,” Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Rodgers said. “The victim showed great courage in telling her mother about his criminal conduct, in preparing for this trial and in facing him in court.”

Rivera will have to register for life as a sexual offender, authorities said. He remains in custody at the Kane County jail on $500,000 bail.

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