Thursday, August 27, 2009

Allentown woman admits letting sex offender live with her daughter

An Allentown woman who allowed a convicted sex offender to live in her house with her and her 11-year-old daughter has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of ''conduct relating to sex offenders.''

Maryann Rivera, 45, of 719 Washington St. entered the pleas on Tuesday before Lehigh County President Judge William H. Platt, according to the district attorney's office. Rivera, who is free on bail, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 6.

According to Assistant District Attorney Anna-Kristie Morffi:
Rivera was charged March 20 with withholding information from authorities or not notifying law enforcement agencies that convicted sex offender Wayne David Rothermel, 42, was not complying with parole requirements to not have contact with children. Rivera also was charged with harboring a sex offender. Both counts are third-degree felonies, which carry maximum sentences of seven years in prison.
Allentown police started an investigation after receiving a report that a Megan's Law offender was living in the Washington Street house. When police questioned Rivera at the home, she said she did not know Rothermel.

She consented to a search and police found Rothermel in an unlit attic.

Rothermel had been convicted of indecent assault in 1996 and, under Megan's Law, was required to register his address with state police.
Rothermel had been released from prison in November 2008. Rivera told police that she and Rothermel started a relationship and she knew he was a registered sex offender. Rivera allowed Rothermel to live in her house with her daughter and Rivera's two adult brothers from December 2008 to February, Morffi said.
Rivera's daughter is in foster care, according to Morffi. Rothermel is in Lehigh County Prison awaiting a hearing for allegedly violating his state parole by not registering his address.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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