Prosecutors detail what allegedly happened to 13-year-old girl who died at a Lawrence hospital
LAWRENCE — A 47-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and giving cocaine to a 13-year-old girl who later died was ordered held without bail Tuesday, as the girl’s grief-stricken family looked on in the courtroom.
Prosecutors said Carlos Rivera dropped the girl at the emergency room of Lawrence General Hospital on the afternoon of May 20. She was soon pronounced dead.
Rivera had spent most of that day and the previous evening with the 13-year-old and a second teenage girl at his apartment on Bellevue Street in Lawrence, prosecutors said.
Relatives have identified the 13-year-old as Chloe Ricard, who lived in Amesbury. The second girl was in the car with Rivera when he took Ricard to the hospital, officials said.
Officials have not said how the girls knew Rivera, who pleaded not guilty in Lawrence District Court to two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and two counts of distributing cocaine to a minor.
Rivera is also accused of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl at an earlier date, officials said.
Rivera is not charged in Ricard’s death — the state medical examiner’s office has completed an autopsy on the girl but has not determined how she died, officials said.
Prosecutors did not disclose details about the case Tuesday. Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick requested that records in the case remain sealed until July 1.
“There is a concern that if the information is publicly released at this point it would impair the investigation, and investigators’ ability to make contact with those witnesses that they have not yet spoken to,” she said.
Judge Lynn Rooney approved the request and ordered that Rivera remain in custody pending a dangerousness hearing on June 4.
Ricard’s mother and stepfather, Deborah Goldsmith-Dolan and Brian Dolan, sat in the second row of the courtroom and leaned on each another during the hearing. His arm around his wife, Dolan rubbed her shoulder as she softly cried.
The couple declined to speak to a large group of reporters as they left the courthouse.
The visiting hours for their daughter’s funeral services were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
After Rivera was arrested, Dolan told The Boston Globe he hoped the “charges stick.”
“I hope this never happens to a 13-year-old little girl ever again,” he said.
Ricard loved drawing and wanted to be a tattoo artist, her family said. Drawing helped her cope with the loss of her father, Raymond E. Ricard Jr., who died when she was in the third grade, her family said.
Ricard was born in Vermont, raised in Northborough, and moved to Amesbury about two years ago, her family said last week.
“She was just a beautiful, kind girl,” her mother told the Globe. “Everyone that met her loved her; she was so social.”
Goldsmith-Dolan said Ricard went to a friend’s house around 4 p.m. on May 19, a Sunday. When Ricard didn’t come home that night, Goldsmith-Dolan reached out to her daughter’s friends and was told she was with a friend in Haverhill.
Later that day, a Department of Children and Families caseworker told Goldsmith-Dolan “there was some red flags” that Ricard was planning to move out of state.
Goldsmith-Dolan was reporting that her daughter was missing when a friend of Ricard’s texted her to say the girl was in the hospital.
Travis Andersen of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Jeremy C. Fox, Alejandro Serrano, and John Hilliard contributed to this report.