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Fitchburg man held on high bail in Jeremiah Oliver case

Handcuffed, wearing a dark brown T-shirt, Mr. Sierra entered his pleas in a barely audible voice in Worcester Superior Court Thursday morning.

AP/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Paul Kapteyn

Handcuffed, wearing a dark brown T-shirt, Mr. Sierra entered his pleas in a barely audible voice in Worcester Superior Court Thursday morning.

WORCESTER — A somewhat emotionless Alberto L. Sierra pleaded not guilty to all counts against him in connection with the disappearance of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son Jeremiah Oliver.

Handcuffed, wearing a dark brown T-shirt, Mr. Sierra entered his pleas in a barely audible voice in Worcester Superior Court Thursday morning, on new charges including kidnapping, assault and reckless endangerment.

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His bail was set at $250,000 cash or a $2.5 million surety. He had little reaction when he was read the bail revocation warning and after nodding he understood, looked around the courtroom while he was escorted out.

Several people present in the courtroom who said they were there in his support, would not comment.

The boy’s mother Elsa Oliver is being arraigned Friday in Worcester Superior Court.

Jeremiah, who was last seen by relatives Sept. 14 and whose disappearance is being handled as a homicide investigation, is listed as the victim for some of the charges, including those alleging kidnapping of a child and permitting an assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury. Two of his siblings are also listed as victims on other charges.

A Worcester County grand jury indicted the pair last week.

Ms. Oliver is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a belt), three counts each of assault and battery and reckless endangerment of a child, kidnapping of a child and permitting an assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury.

Mr. Sierra was arraigned on charges of kidnapping of a child, four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (belt or knife), two counts of assault and battery, three counts of reckless endangerment of a child and single counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury. All of the charges, except the one charging indecent assault and battery on a child, one count of assault and battery and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife), list either Jeremiah or one of his siblings as the alleged victim.

Elsa Oliver is listed as the victim in one of the assault and battery charges and one of the assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charges. The alleged victim of the indecent assault and battery on a child is not named in the charges.

Ms. Oliver, 28, of 276 Kimball St., Fitchburg, and Mr. Sierra, 23, of 164 Meadowbrook Lane, Fitchburg, were previously charged in Fitchburg District Court. Ms. Oliver was facing two counts each of reckless endangerment of a child and being an accessory, after the fact, to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the district court.

Mr. Sierra was charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury.

Ms. Oliver is being held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. Mr. Sierra remains in custody.

The cases of three others charged with interfering with a criminal investigation and misleading police are still pending in the Fitchburg court.

Mr. Sierra is scheduled to return to court May 1.

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