A Provo man has been charged with three first-degree felonies for the rape of a Brigham Young University student and the brief abduction of another student in a separate incident.
Luis A. Rivera, 38, was charged this week in 4th District Court with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated sexual assault. He is being held at the Utah County Jail on $100,000 bail.Rivera allegedly raped a BYU student at knifepoint on Nov. 30 as the student returned home from a late-afternoon church meeting on campus. The 23-year-old woman told police that a man began a friendly conversation with her near Maeser hill.
With a knife in his hand, the man grabbed the woman and told her he would kill her unless she cooperated, the woman told police. She said he then forced her behind a bush in a yard near 700 North and 300 East and raped her.
Rivera, a native of Honduras who has lived in Provo with his wife and two children since September, was arrested Feb. 9. That night, police officers observed him approach female students in a parking lot in the south part of campus. A male student called university police after he noticed Rivera milling around.
In court Tuesday, Rivera told Judge Anthony W. Schofield through an interpreter that he didn't have money to hire an attorney. Rivera said he probably lost his job as a result of his arrest and the filing of criminal charges.
Schofield appointed a public defense attorney to represent Rivera and ordered him to return to court for a waiver hearing Feb. 25. Schofield also told Rivera that if he bailed out of jail, he would have to leave his passport with law enforcement officials so he couldn't flee the country.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has a detainer on Rivera that would require his arrest even if he posted bail.
Rivera is also charged with a brief abduction Jan. 13 near an apartment complex southeast of BYU. On that morning, a 22-year-old woman said a man grabbed her as she was walking alone and forced her to walk about 25 yards at knifepoint. The woman screamed and ran to a nearby house to call police, and the assailant fled.
If convicted, Rivera could face prison terms of five years to life on each of the three counts.