Fort Bragg Soldier Faces Court-Martial for Deaths of Toddlers He Adopted

A soldier at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has been charged with the murder of two toddlers he adopted four years ago and will face a court-martial next year.

Warrant Officer 1 Anthony S. Rivera and his wife adopted a two-year-old and a three-year-old in April 2017, the Army Times reported, and nine months later, both were dead.

Rivera’s charge sheet says that the children died from blunt force trauma without being specific about the injuries. The sheet also says Rivera did not obtain medical car for the first child, who died at Rivera’s home on November 18, 2017.

The second child died at the same location on January 14, 2018.

A source told the Times that the two children had “similar” spinal injuries.

The charge sheet says that Rivera is assigned to D Company, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Rivera was arraigned on August 18. A military source not authorized to speak publicly about the case told the Times that civilian authorities initially handled the case, but Harnett County prosecutors eventually decided not to prosecute and handed it over to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Unit in 2020.

Rivera is also under investigation for an alleged sexual assault against a woman he previously had a relationship with. A CID investigation found probable cause for a sexual assault charge, but charges have not been filed.

“A final determination regarding alleged additional misconduct related to this case not been made,” Lt. Col. Brett Lea, the 82nd Airborne’s chief of public affairs, said. “However, all allegations of wrongdoing in the Division are treated seriously and are addressed accordingly.”

FLea said that Rivera is not currently behind bars and that that decision is made by commanders.

“[I]n general, the determination to assign pretrial confinement under the rules for courts-martial is largely based on a Soldier’s likelihood to fail to appear at trial,” he said.

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[Featured image: Fort Bragg]