A Tampa wastewater department employee has been arrested for having sex with four underage girls, police said.
Demetrio Rivera, 68, has been charged with a total of 11 counts, including lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, traveling to meet a minor after using a computer and unlawful sex with a minor.
He was released from Hillsborough County Jail this morning after posting $82,500 bail.
A co-worker in the wastewater department told detectives last month that he suspected Rivera of engaging in illegal acts, police said.
An undercover detective posed as a new wastewater worker and befriended Rivera, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.
Rivera told the detective about his relationship with the girls, police said.
Detectives then placed Rivera under surveillance. On Thursday, they saw him pick up a 16-year-old girl and bring her to the Woodlands wastewater pump station at 6515 Wood Branch Drive, Davis said.
Rivera was not on duty during the incident.
When detectives approached him, Rivera’s pants were unfastened, Davis said.
Investigators say Rivera told them he had sex with two other 16-year-old girls and one 15-year-old girl.
All the victims were at-risk youth with no male role model, Davis said.
“He took advantage of them,” Davis said. “He exploited their needs.”
The girls had little or no money, and Rivera bought gifts for them, she said.
Rivera’s job description is Plant Technician III, a position involving preventative and corrective maintenance at wastewater pumping stations. He has worked for the city for 26 years.