No bail set in Ricard case

AMANDA SABGA/Staff photoCarlos Rivera is arraigned at Essex County Superior Court after several indictments were handed down against him in connection with the death of Chloe Ricard, 13, of Amesbury. 

LAWRENCE — A Lawrence man accused of dropping a 13-year-old Amesbury girl off at the emergency room minutes before she was pronounced dead was arraigned in Salem Superior Court on Friday on new criminal charges of distribution of fentanyl and sexual assault. 

Carlos Rivera, 47, of 59 Bellevue St., remained held without bail after his arraignment on seven charges recently handed down by the Essex County grand jury. 

The indictments for distribution of fentanyl, a deadly, man-made opioid; distribution of cocaine; aggravated rape; and indecent assault and battery on minors now require Rivera’s case to be handled in Superior Court, where the penalties he faces if convicted would be more severe. 

Rivera has been held without bail at Middleton Jail since his arraignment in Lawrence District Court after Chloe Ricard, 13, of Amesbury, died after she was left at the Lawrence General Hospital emergency room May 20. 

In court Friday, Judge Jeffrey Karp ruled there was probable cause to keep Rivera in jail without bail until a dangerousness hearing Sept. 27.

As she previously did in District Court, Essex County prosecutor Jessica Strasnick asked for documents in the case to be impounded — blocked from the press and public — which Karp agreed to until the hearing in September.

A dangerousness hearing is scheduled to determine if someone is likely to harm themselves or the community at large. 

Rivera’s attorney, Jeanne Early, said she recently received a “very significant amount” of potential evidence from Strasnick. That evidence included cellphone records and information extracted by investigators, Strasnick said in court. 

Ricard’s mother, Deborah Goldsmith-Dolan, and stepfather, Brian Dolan, sat in the courtroom gallery during the arraignment Friday. A victim witness advocate from District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office accompanied them.

According to a Lawrence police report, Rivera was known “to have young girls ranging in ages from 13 to 16 years old at his apartment and would produce drugs and alcohol for them to use/consume.”

Witnesses told police Rivera gave the girls “cocaine and marijuana” and they “would also drink alcohol in his apartment,” according to the report, written by Lawrence Detective Timothy Yerian. 

The police investigation revealed Rivera was with two teens May 19. A girl, age 16, said she saw Rivera sexually assault the other girl and that Rivera provided “cocaine on a mirror” that was snorted with a straw.

Another teen told police she’d been at Rivera’s Bellevue Street apartment May 17 or 18 and “during that time Rivera touched her indecently and without her consent,” according to Yerian’s report.

After Rivera left Ricard at Lawrence General, he walked over to a “water drainage sewer” feet away from his vehicle and threw something away, according to Yerian’s report.

Rivera “then got down on both of his knees and made certain those items went down the sewer. Investigators recovered two white straws that were cut, an orange cigarette filter, and a plastic twisty with a white powdery substance believed to be illegal narcotics,” wrote Yerian.

The indictments say Rivera unlawfully distributed fentanyl May 20, the same day Ricard died.

Results taken during Ricard’s autopsy linked Rivera to her, according to prosecutors. The cause and manner of Ricard’s death have not been released.

The girl’s death certificate from the medical examiner’s office, filed with the Lawrence city clerk, said Ricard’s manner of death is “pending investigation.”

Blodgett’s office has not formally identified Ricard as the teen who died at the emergency room, but her family has said Ricard was the victim.

A former Amesbury public school student, Ricard most recently attended Solstice Day School in Rowley before her death.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.