San Benito man’s petition to have evidence tested for DNA denied

MGN Online

A San Benito man sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual assault was denied a petition to test evidence for DNA by the Texas 13th District Court of Appeals.

Rene Rivas Jr. was convicted of three counts of assault and sexual assault on Oct. 15, 2009 following a trial. Two of those counts came with enhancements of “aggravated”, meaning that authorities found that Rivas committed the assaults with intent to cause bodily injury.

On Monday, a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Rivas was rejected by the court. In the handwritten document, Rivas alleged that none of the items seized as evidence by investigators — which included a black dress, bed sheets, two pairs of underwear, a knife, a comforter, a pillow case, and a tube of lubrication — were tested for DNA and that his last motion to submit the items for biological testing have been denied.

Rivas’s profile on Write A Prisoner, a Florida-based company that provides a platform for inmates to have pen pals, Rivas states that he’s incarcerated because “A female [he] used to date in 2008 made sexual allegations that never took place.”

The petition details that the Rivas allegedly assaulted the woman over the course of four days without protection, during which time she was forced to wear the clothing submitted as evidence.

The court’s opinion in response to Rivas’ petition stated that Rivas “failed to provide a sufficient appendix or record in support of his petition and that he “failed to meet his burden to obtain relief.”

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com