A captain with the New York City Fire Department appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday to deny allegations against him of criminal sex acts with two underage boys.
Wilbert Riera, 51, was flown into Los Angeles from New York on Wednesday to face charges in incidents that allegedly took place in Hollywood between Sept. 12 and Sept. 14. Jail records show he was booked in L.A. about 7 p.m. Wednesday.
He had originally been arrested by an FBI task force on Sept. 26, Los Angeles police said. A resident of Bay Shore, Long Island, Riera was at a fire station in Staten Island, on the job, when he was taken into custody, law enforcement sources told KTLA sister station PIX11.
Riera has been charged with six counts of lewd act upon a child, according to a felony complaint for an arrest warrant that was filed Sept. 19. Riera has been suspended without pay from his role as a captain with the Emergency Medical Service of the Fire Department of the City of New York, with which has has more than 20 years of service, PIX11 reported.
The complaint against Riera, provided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, alleged he committed six lewd acts with two victims under age 14, identified as Justin C. and Jordan C., “with the intent of arousing, appealing to, and gratifying the lust, passions, and sexual desires of the said defendant and the said child.”
Riera pleaded not guilty at the downtown L.A. criminal courts building, where cameras were not permitted at the hearing.
Riera faces life in prison if convicted. His bail was set at $2.6 million.
He was due to return to court on Nov. 13.