CHARLOTTE (WWJ/AP) – Prosecutors have dropped charges against a man who authorities earlier said raped and tried to strangle a 10-year-old girl in Eaton County in March 2014.
The case against 28-year-old Higinio Rivera III was dismissed last week in Eaton County Circuit Court. Charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could re-file them later.
Rivera had been charged with attempted murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the alleged attack, which reportedly happened at the girl’s home on Stine Road in Charlotte, located off of I-69 in between Lansing and Battle Creek. The girl’s parents told investigators they were awakened in the middle of the night by their daughter’s screams.
The girl, who allegedly told her parents that she was attacked, was examined at a hospital, where doctors apparently found evidence of sexual assault and strangulation.
According to a report in the Lansing State Journal, the girl told police “she was absolutely certain” that Rivera was her attacker. Rivera and his wife were staying at the home that night.
Rivera’s lawyer John Deming noted in a motion to reduce bond that no DNA test results connected Rivera to the attack. Rivera was released on bond in September.
According to reports, the girl’s brother allegedly told investigators that he has sex with his sister. Another report says DNA tests showed that semen belonging to the girl’s father was discovered on a pink robe on her bed.
Prosecutor Doug Lloyd says the investigation is continuing.
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