The Legal Herald Logo
Legal Analysis By Attorneys
Breaking Legal News

Big Rock, IL - Mark Rivera, a Former ACNA Lay Pastor at Christ Our Light Anglican, Facing Multiple Felony Sexual Assault Charges

Big Rock, IL - Mark Rivera, a Former ACNA Lay Pastor at Christ Our Light Anglican, Facing Multiple Felony Sexual Assault Charges
Published: January 7, 2022
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on January 11, 2022

Pastor Facing Multiple Sexual Assault Charges

The Religious News Service has reported that a former ACNA lay pastor has been arrested for sexual assault in Kane County, Illinois. 

On Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 48-year-old Mark A. Rivera was charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual assault. This comes just a year after a victim accused Rivera of raping her twice, once in 2018 and again in 2020. The victim lived next door to the Rivera. At the time, he was a lay pastor at Christ Our Light Anglican, located at 301 Rhodes Ave, Big Rock, IL 60511. He served at this ACNA church plant from 2013 to 2019. Previously from the middle of the 1990s to 2013, he served as a volunteer leader at the Church of the Resurrection located at 935 W Union Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187. 

These accusations follow a string of abuse allegations, including additional felony sexual assault charges and predatory abuse of a victim under 13. At least eight other victims have come forward accusing Rivera of child sexual abuse, grooming, and rape. 

The ACNA reported on August 28, 2021, that a Provincial Response Team was set up to investigate how the allegations were being handled. However, by November 30, 2021, they had only just begun to form a list of potential investigative firms, and the official investigation had not started. In July, the diocese’s bishop had taken a leave of absence amid concern they were mishandling the sexual abuse allegations.

Rivera has been released on bail but is required to wear a GPS bracelet to monitor his location. He is currently facing two felony counts of criminal sexual assault on top of the previous charges. 

Update: January 10, 2022 - A petition started by ACNAtoo, a survivor-centric advocacy group for spiritual and sexual abuse survivors of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, has garnered over 300 signatories since releasing on January 6, 2022. The group supports all of the many victims abused by Mark Rivera. It seeks to hold accountable the failures and mishandling of the ACNA leadership. After forming in June of 2021, they have provided resources for survivors and offered them an outlet to tell their stories. The group's goal is to have the Provincial leadership honor the survivor's request for an informed investigation. 

Brian Kent - Attorney
Hi. I am attorney Brian Kent. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a similar incident, I would be happy to speak with you and discuss your options.
Call the number below. It would be my honor to help you. Consultations are free.
(888) 997-3792

Can a Victim Sue For Being Sexually Abused By a Pastor?

Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced church sexual abuse lawyer in Illinois. For years, Brian has represented victims sexually abused by a church pastor in civil lawsuits. During a recent interview, Brian shared some information regarding when a victim can sue a church for sexual abuse by a pastor

“Too often, sexual predators will place themselves in roles of trust and power in order to commit abuse. Lately, many reports have been made with these predators taking positions within the clergy of churches to exploit their victims. This sexual exploitation has been seen across all religious denominations. Numerous pastors and ministers have been charged with sexually abusing their members. It is the legal responsibility of churches to do their best to offer their members safety with preventatives to stop predators. Such measures should include background checks on all clergy members, security cameras on the church property, and investigating reports of misconduct.”

“A church can be held accountable for not upholding the safety of its members. If abuse occurs and the church fails to implement safety precautions, they can be deemed liable in a court of law. Some cases of sexual abuse only happen due to negligence on behalf of the church. If complaints had been filed against an active clergy member, but church officials ignored the allegations, this could be considered negligence. In cases of negligence, sexual assault victims and their families should know their legal rights. By contacting an experienced church sexual abuse lawyer, they can determine if they have sufficient grounds to file a civil lawsuit.”

Sources:

Religious News Service

ACNAtoo

Got A Tip Or Questions 
About A Story?
Call Us!
The Legal Herald
888-997-3792
About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: [email protected] This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
Read some recent posts
  • Details
  • Incident

Find A Local Lawyer

Want To Contribute Breaking News? 
Contact Us Today
Legal Herald Logo[email protected]
10355 Kensington Shore Dr. #102
Orlando, FL 32827
Call: (888) 997-3792
© 2020 The Legal Herald, a division of Eagle Peak Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

We would like our readers to know that the information in this story may be sourced from secondary sources and may therefore contain inaccuracies. We will correct them if and when they are brought to our attention or we discover them through our editing process. If you have any concerns about this post, please contact us immediately and we will rectify issues. DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this post is for general informational purposes. It is not intended to constitute or express legal or medical advice. Any laws referenced herein are substantially based on general legal principles and may not be applicable to your particular situation. Laws can often be different from one jurisdiction to the next. The Legal Herald is not a law firm. Law firms and lawyers from around the country may apply to become a sponsor or contributor to The Legal Herald.
SitemapMedia RoomDisclaimer / Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy