Church leader gets 15 years in prison for sex assault, abuse of child

A former lay pastor at a Big Rock church was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for molesting a 9-year-old member of the church.

Kane County Judge John Barsanti sentenced Mark Rivera to six years apiece on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and three years on a charge of criminal sexual abuse.

Barsanti convicted him in December.

Rivera will have to serve at least 11.7 years before being eligible for parole but will receive credit for the approximately three years he has spent in jail or on electronic home monitoring while he awaited trial and sentencing.

On multiple times from June 2018 to May 2019, Rivera assaulted the child he knew. At the time, Rivera was a lay pastor at the Christ Our Light Anglican Church in Big Rock. The victim's family attended the church.

The abuse happened at Rivera's home in Big Rock.

The victim's family and Rivera had previously attended a church in Wheaton.

Rivera, who now lives in Winfield, must register for life as a sex offender.

Rivera was also charged, in 2021, with sexually assaulting an adult who was unable to give consent due to intoxication. That case is scheduled for a jury trial in May in Kane County.

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

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