The Ottumwa Courier

November 2, 2012

Man makes initial appearance in 15-year-old abuse case

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

KNOXVILLE — Kenneth Joseph Rivers, 48, made his initial appearance in Marion County District Court this morning on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. The charges stem from alleged incidents that took place in 1997. 

Rivers is accused of touching a five-year-old child inappropriately that year. The alleged victim is a former in-law. Iowa code allows child sexual abuse victims up to eight years after their 18th birthday to register a criminal complaint with law enforcement about incidents similar to those alleged in this case. 

Rivers had not been arrested on the charges prior to today's hearing. He was immediately taken into custody in the courtroom upon the recommendation of Assistant County Attorney Nicole Oslon. Rivers intended to post 10 percent of a total $50,000 bond ($25,000 per count). 

"I'm going to direct that he be taken into custody immediately," Judge Martha Mertz said. Rivers said he believed it would need until Monday to get the cash for the bond. Mertz said, "You knew you had to appear today." She also advised him of his Miranda Rights. 

Rivers' next court appearance, a preliminary hearing, is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 9:30 a.m.