Former New Britain teacher charged with sexual assault

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:37 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2023 at 6:57 AM EDT
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - A former New Britain special education teacher was released on bail after he faced accusations in court of inappropriately touching several students.

Erving Rivera, 50, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and illegal sexual contact. He taught at Lincoln Elementary School, the Consolidated School District of New Britain confirmed.

There were multiple victims who said Rivera inappropriately touched them, according to the suspect’s arrest warrant.

Rivera appeared before a judge Thursday. He said nothing and kept his head down as he left New Britain Superior Court.

Erving Rivera.
Erving Rivera.(New Britain Police Department)

The investigation began on Feb. 8.

According to court paperwork, an officer with the New Britain police department responded to Lincoln Elementary School on that day for a complaint.

The complaint stated that a 10-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by Rivera.

A fifth-grade teacher saw Rivera whisper something into the girl’s ear as the students returned from recess, the warrant said. The teacher thought it was odd because the victim was not a student of Rivera’s.

The teacher asked the victim what Rivera said. She told the teacher Rivera whispered to her:

The victim said she was in Rivera’s classroom with the door closed for about 15 minutes.

The school’s behavioral assistant met with the victim one on one.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim said Rivera kissed her on her cheeks and on the lips.

The victim also told the behavioral assistant that Rivera put his hand under her shirt, touched her back, and tickled her, the arrest warrant said.

Rivera told police that one of his students, not the victim, gave Rivera their Roblox account name. He went online one night to try and play with her, but she signed off, according to the warrant.

You can read Rivera’s arrest warrant below:

“It hit, it hit harder for me. It bothered me all day,” said Nate Moore, a New Britain parent. “You really can’t trust anyone, unfortunately.”

The Department of Children and families confirmed it was involved.

Erving Rivera was investigated for “child maltreatment,” according the Department of Children and Families.

“We can confirm the department conducted a joint investigation with law enforcement regarding allegations of child maltreatment reported at Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain,” DCF said in a statement. “The incidents were brought to our attention by personnel from the New Britain School district and New Britain Police Department.”

School officials sent a letter to parents on Wednesday that notified them of Rivera’s arrest.

“Our hiring process is already compliant with all mandate background check requirements, but we will work to find ways to exceed what is required by law to ensure that the district hires staff that represents our strongly held morals and beliefs,” said superintendent Tony Gasper in the letter.

Gasper said that Rivera was immediately removed from Lincoln Elementary School on Feb. 8. He had been an employee since Feb. 2022.

Rivera was placed on leave while the New Britain Police Department and the Department of Children and Families investigated the behavior.

Per New Britain school district policy, he was placed on administrative leave that same day and then resigned from the district on March 22.

“We truly appreciate the due diligence of the agencies involved in conducting a thorough and complete process that ultimately led to Rivera’s arrest. Now it will be up to the legal process to determine how this individual will be held accountable for his actions,” Gasper said.

Gasper said parents with concerns can directly call the district.

“This is a reminder for all members of our community that regardless of the identity or relationship of the alleged perpetrator to a child, a reasonable suspicion of child maltreatment can be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Careline by dialing 1-800-842-2288,” DCF said.

This is a developing story. Stay with Eyewitness News for updates.