This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Former NYC Fire Captain Pleads No Contest To Sexually Abusing 2 Boys In L.A.
A former EMS captain with the New York City Fire Department pleaded no contest to sexually abusing two young boys in Los Angeles last year.
Wilbert Riera, 52, is accused of molesting two 11-year-old brothers in Hollywood from September 12 and 14, 2014 while he was visiting family in L.A. The charges originally included six counts of oral sex with the two children. On Thursday, Riera entered a no contest plea on two felony counts involving a lewd act with a child under the age of 14, reports the L.A. Times.
Riera is scheduled for sentencing on October 8, and is expected to serve 270-day sentence in county jail. After that, he will be placed on probation for five years, according to the terms of the plea. Riera will also have to register as a sex offender and successfully complete sex offender therapy.
"Though I felt confident about our chances of prevailing at trial, there are no guarantees, and a guilty verdict would carry a life sentence," said Shawn Holley, an attorney representing Riera. "At the end of the day, Mr. Riera made the tough decision to plead no contest not only because it was in his best interest, but because it was in the best interest of all involved."
Riera resigned from the NYFD on Wednesday, according to prosecutors. He worked for the department for over two decades. At the time of his arrest on September 26, 2014, he was assigned to emergency medical services on Staten Island, NY.