Former FDNY captain pleads no contest to molesting 2 children in L.A.
A former captain with the New York City Fire Department pleaded no contest Thursday to charges that he sexually molested two boys while visiting family members in Los Angeles last year, authorities said.
Wilbert Riera entered the plea on two felony counts of a lewd act with a child under the age of 14, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Riera, 52, is accused of sexually abusing the 11-year-old brothers at a location in Hollywood between Sept. 12 and Sept. 14, 2014.
Shawn Holley, an attorney representing Riera, said that the plea offered the best resolution to the case.
“Though I felt confident about our chances of prevailing at trial, there are no guarantees, and a guilty verdict would carry a life sentence,” Holley said in a statement.
“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.”
On Wednesday, Riera resigned from the FDNY, prosecutors said.
At his sentencing scheduled for Oct. 8, he is expected to begin a 270-day sentence in county jail, after which he will be placed on probation for five years, according to the terms of his plea.
Prosecutors said he must also register as a sex offender and successfully complete sex offender therapy.
Riera worked for the FDNY for more than two decades, and at the time of his Sept. 26, 2014, arrest was assigned to emergency medical services on Staten Island. After his arrest, the department placed him on a 30-day suspension without pay.
An attorney representing Riera did not respond to an after-hours request for comment.
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