Deputy accused of using too much force on child

EDINBURG — Too much force — that is what the guardian of a child alleges a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy used when disciplining the child with a belt.

Jayson Andrew Rivera, of Weslaco, is accused of leaving bruises on an unidentified child in early January after allegedly spanking the child when the child became upset, according to a recently obtained probable cause affidavit.

The alleged incident did not occur while Rivera was on duty, according to the report.

According to the affidavit filed by Weslaco police, the 28-year-old man’s alleged abuse of the child, who is under 14 years of age, came to light after a Child Protective Service official filed a report of injury to a child with the police department in connection with a Jan. 7 incident.

Rivera was placed on administrative leave last week pending the investigation, but it was unknown if it was an unpaid or paid suspension.

A call placed to sheriff’s officials went unreturned as of press time.

Rivera is currently out of custody on a $50,000 bond according to jail records.

If convicted of the injury to a child charge, a state jail felony, Rivera faces up to two years in a state jail.

The CPS worker, who also made contact with the alleged victim’s school, IDEA Public Schools, was assigned to the case to investigate possible abuse after the alleged victim spoke out, the court record shows.

“(CPS employee) stated he also made contact with (alleged victim) who verbally indicated that they were spanked (redacted) using a black belt,” the complaint states.

The alleged victim stated he was spanked with the belt because he wanted some chips, the report states.

“(CPS employee) stated (alleged victim) showed buttocks in the presence of the school nurse and observed light bruising marks as if the injuries were healing,” the complaint reads.

A child abuse and neglect investigator with CPS also interviewed the alleged victim in mid-January.

“While listening to the audio and watching the video monitor (the alleged victim) stated (redacted) spanked really hard twice on buttocks with a belt,” the report reads. “When (alleged victim) was asked why they were spanked, they replied by saying because (redacted) did not want to eat more grapes. (Alleged victim) said they had been spanked before on (redacted) hand by (redacted) and (redacted).”

The alleged abuse took place between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8 when the child’s guardian dropped them off at Rivera’s residence, the complaint states.

On Jan. 7, the woman stated she received a call from Rivera who told her he spanked the child because the child began kicking and crying when the child didn’t want to leave the grandmother’s home, according to the report.

“She stated the child showed her the injuries while they were in the parking lot of Gatti’s Pizza in McAllen. She stated the child had redness and swelling on (redacted) left buttocks and a bruise on the right side of (redacted) back above (redacted) waist,” the report states.

On Jan. 22, the child’s guardian filed charges against Rivera, the complaint states.

“ She stated she believed Rivera had spanked (redacted) using too much force while disciplining (redacted),” the complaint states.