Felony charges were filed Tuesday against a 32-year-old woman suspected of facilitating repeated acts of sexual abuse against a Coachella Valley girl at the hands of a Palm Springs man.
Aura Rivera Vidal of Coachella was arrested last Thursday and is charged with one felony count each of willful child cruelty and witness intimidation. According to court papers, both charges involve the same victim.
Vidal, who remains behind bars without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Wednesday via video conference before a judge at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Ternes, the investigation of Vidal was initiated after the arrest of 45-year-old Jesus Lucio Rivera, who is charged with two counts each of aggravated sexual assault of child, forcible rape of a minor and lewd acts on a child under 14 years old.
Ternes said Rivera came to the attention of detectives in late January based on allegations of repeated molestation of the victim, who lives in an unincorporated area near Desert Hot Springs and is identified in court documents as “Jane Doe.”
Court papers allege that between October 2017 and April 2019, Rivera perpetrated the offenses at the victim’s residence. His relationship to the girl, if any, was not disclosed.
Rivera was arrested on Feb. 10 and pleaded not guilty last week. He’s being held on $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Ternes said the ensuing investigation of Vidal revealed that she was allegedly aware of “the crimes Rivera committed, and she was responsible for the well-being of the victim during the period the victim was sexually assaulted.”
Vidal’s relationship to the child also was not divulged.
Neither she nor Rivera has documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.