WBEZ | Juan Rivera http://www.wbez.org/tags/juan-rivera Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Case dropped against Lake Co. man imprisoned for 20 years http://www.wbez.org/story/case-dropped-against-lake-co-man-imprisoned-20-years-95355 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-06/AP111212110154.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Juan Rivera could soon be a free man after nearly two decades in prison. Lake County prosecutors said Friday they won't challenge a court decision reversing Rivera's convictions.</p><p>Rivera was convicted three times for raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in Waukegan in 1992. Last month, the Illinois Appellate Court threw out the most recent conviction which came in 2009. The court scolded prosecutors, saying they gave unproved and speculative scenarios while prosecuting Rivera. DNA tests did not link him to the crime.</p><p>"Today we're not looking back," said Rob Warden, who's with the Center on Wrongful Convictions which supported Rivera's appeal. "We want to look to the future and we're just delighted and Juan is elated that he will be getting out very soon."</p><p>Rivera's attorneys said he was coerced into giving a false confession. They are seeking his immediate release from Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet.</p><p>Rivera has spent more than 19 years behind bars.</p></p> Fri, 06 Jan 2012 19:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/case-dropped-against-lake-co-man-imprisoned-20-years-95355 Appeals court slams Lake County, Illinois prosecutors http://www.wbez.org/story/appeals-court-slams-lake-county-illinois-prosecutors-94809 <p><p>An Illinois state appeals court is scolding Lake County prosecutors for distorting evidence in the trial of Juan Rivera. Rivera was convicted by three juries for the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Waukegan, Illinois, about 40 miles north of Chicago.</p><p>But the appeals court found the last trial should not have resulted in a conviction, and that no rational trier of fact could have found Rivera guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.</p><p>The third trial was ordered after new DNA testing excluded Rivera as the source of semen taken from inside the victim. Prosecutors argued that the 11-year-old may have had sex earlier in the day before Rivera raped and murdered her.</p><p>The jury convicted Rivera in 2009.</p><p>In throwing out the conviction the appeals court said Lake County prosecutors under Mike Waller offered up unproved and speculative scenarios.</p><p>The court wrote, "The state's theories distort to an absurd degree the real and undisputed testimony that the sperm was deposited shortly before the victim died."</p><p>Rivera has spent nearly two decades in prison.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 11 Dec 2011 17:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/appeals-court-slams-lake-county-illinois-prosecutors-94809 The changing face of Humboldt Park http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-29/changing-face-humboldt-park-84417 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-29/Graffiti Zone community mural.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Humboldt Park has undergone big changes over the past decade or so. The neighborhood experienced a development rush starting in the late '90s. That bumped up housing prices and displaced some residents and small businesses. But now housing prices are in a free fall and the community is facing chronic problems with gangs, crime and litter-filled vacant lots.<br /><br /><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> wanted to get a ground-level sense of the different ways these shifting economic tides have changed what was once a predominantly Puerto Rican community.&nbsp;<em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> invited a long-standing and more recent member of Humboldt Park to WBEZ's West Side bureau for this conversation.<br /><br />Juan Rivera's been in the community for close to 30 years. He's the executive director of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lucha.org/">Latin United Community Housing Association</a> in Humboldt Park. And Jody Cooley, moved to Humboldt Park to live and work eight years ago; she's the executive director of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.graffitizone.org/Home_Page.php">Graffiti Zone</a>, a non-profit arts organization serving Humboldt Park.<br /><br />Graffiti Zone artwork will be featured in an Earth Day celebration at the&nbsp;Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.earthwineandfire.com/">Earth, Wine and Fire</a> on Friday April 22.</p><p><em>Music Button: Spanish Harlem Orchestra, &quot;Son de Corazon&quot;, from the CD Viva La Tradicion, (Concord) </em></p></p> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 14:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-29/changing-face-humboldt-park-84417 Chicago police chief: Conduct in video ‘not professional’ http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police/chicago-police-superintendent-conduct-video-not-professional-84290 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-25/police.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The head of the Chicago police said Friday that it is always inappropriate for officers to use &quot;scared straight&quot; tactics. This came after <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-22/video-questionable-police-tactics-caught-tape-84086">WBEZ obtained a video</a> that shows officers allowing bystanders to taunt a young man sitting in their vehicle.</p><p>Interim Supt.Terry Hillard said that the officers shown in the video have been put on desk duty and that an internal investigation is proceeding as fast as possible.</p><p>Hillard, who returned from retirement this month, called the incident in the Humboldt Park neighborhood &quot;not professional.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It's not what I remember &mdash; my first time around or this time around &mdash; what the Chicago Police Department stands for,&quot; Hillard told reporters.<br /><br />The head of internal affairs, Juan Rivera, said he is not sure yet if the young man shown on the video was under arrest at the time. Rivera said the police who appear in the video are &quot;veteran officers.&quot; <br /><br />Hillard said, in general, if officers make an unintentional mistake, it is the department's job to help them improve their performance. But he added, &quot;If they get out there and do inappropriate or unprofessional [things], going against our general orders, or [do] things that we perceive as being unprofessional, inappropriate, we're going to go after them. Simple as that.&quot;</p><p>Meanwhile, residents of the block who saw the incident said it occurred this past Saturday, March 19. They told WBEZ that two officers arrived on the block with the young man in a police SUV and that no other officers or police vehicles were present. After about 5 minutes, the residents said, the officers drove the young man away. About 10 minutes later, according to witnesses, the officers returned without the young man and spoke again with some of the onlookers. The witnesses asked to remain unidentified.</p><p>Police sources have told WBEZ that the two cops were patrol officers assigned to the department&rsquo;s Shakespeare District.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Mar 2011 21:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police/chicago-police-superintendent-conduct-video-not-professional-84290 Viva Mexico: Ensemble Sones de Mexico kicks off celebrations for Mexico 2010 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/viva-mexico-ensemble-sones-de-mexico-kicks-celebrations-mexico-2010 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//sones_de_mexico2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is home to the second largest Mexican population in the United States but some say it is the nation&rsquo;s most Mexican city. So what better place to celebrate the country&rsquo;s Independence?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mexico2010inchicago.com/" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s Mexico 2010</a> celebrations have marked two very important anniversaries in Mexican history: the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution. The year-long celebration ends Saturday at the <a href="http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/chicago/" target="_blank">House of Blues</a>. The final event will also double as an album release party for Sones de Mexico.</p><p>In 1994, the local group formed with the goal of keeping the Mexican folk music called &quot;son,&quot; alive. Since then, they&rsquo;ve picked up some Grammy nominations, started an educational non-profit and recorded a few albums. Their latest is called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Viva-Revolucin-Sones-Mexico-Ensemble/dp/B004AXJ9SM/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1290179725&amp;sr=1-3" target="_blank">&quot;Viva La Revolucion!&quot;</a></p><p>The group will help wind up a year long celebration of Mexico in Chicago this weekend.&nbsp; The ensemble joined Eight Forty-Eight for a preview.</p><p><a href="http://sonesdemexico.com/index.html" target="_blank">Sones de Mexico</a> is comprised of Javier Saume, Zacbe Pichardo, Juan Rivera, Lorena Inigues, Juan Dies, Victor Pichardo and Alejandro Flores.</p></p> Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/viva-mexico-ensemble-sones-de-mexico-kicks-celebrations-mexico-2010