Upper Midwest lay leader indicted for two more sexual assault charges

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The Kane County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Department has arrested a former ACNA parish lay leader, charging him with sexually assault.

On 29 December 2021 Mark Rivera (48) was charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual assault. In July 2021 Rivera was arrested for allegedly raping a girl under the age of 13 who lived next door to him. At least eight other victims of have come forward accusing Rivera of rape, child sexual abuse and grooming.

The assaults are alleged to have taken place in conjunction with Rivera’s work as a lay catechist at Christ Our Light Anglican Church in Big Rock, Illinois – a parish of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest. Rivera served as a volunteer at COLA from 2013 to 2019, and from the mid 90’s to 2013 he served as a volunteer at the ACNA’s Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton. 

On 28 August 2021 the ACNA announced that a Provincial Response team was investigating the diocese’s handling of complaints of abuse lodged by parishioners against Rivera. The Rt. Rev. Stewart Ruch has taken a leave of absence while the investigation takes place.

Rivera was released on bond following his latest arrest and is required to wear a GPS bracelet to monitor his location. In addition to the two new charges, Rivera is facing two other felony counts of criminal sexual assault. His next hearing is scheduled for January 17.