Due to stand trial Monday, the Gaithersburg man accused of accepting sex from a teen girl has reportedly fled the country. And now prosecutors say the trial will go on in his absence.
The trial began for defendant Bejarni Rivas, who was charged with 13 criminal acts, including sexually abusing a minor and rape.
He is accused of accepting sex from a
15-year-old offered up by her mother as part of repayment terms for
a $5,000 loan she owed Rivas, Patch has reported.
The mother has already been convicted by a jury, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Court records show that Rivas posted bond and had surrendered his passport, but he failed to appear in court on Oct. 1, the day his trial was scheduled to start.
A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge granted the prosecutor’s request to proceed with the trial without him.
Ramón Korionoff, a spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, said Rivas most likely fled to Central America.
This type of trial scenario was rare in Montgomery County, Korionoff said.
According to court records, most of the alleged acts occurred in the Georgian Colonies Club House in Silver Spring between December 2012 and March 2013, with Rivas paying the mother $100 each time.
The alleged abuse ended after the teen told a relative and then went to police.