Lewis County Watch

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A Centralia Man has been charged with four counts of child molestation after he was accused of sexually abusing a child, reportedly starting when she was 8 years old, on and off for a period of about five years.

Benjamin Rivas Sr., 80, was charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree child molestation and made his preliminary appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Wednesday.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Centralia Police officers were dispatched to a report of child molestation on Tuesday and learned from the alleged victim, now 13 years old, that Rivas had touched her inappropriately the day prior, and also told police that similar instances of abuse had occurred stemming back to when she was 8 years old.

The alleged victim disclosed to a family member that Rivas had told her if she was not home that day, he would “massage” her again, according to the affidavit. The alleged victim said a “massage” was Rivas’ code word for inappropriately touching her, according to the affidavit.

Additionally, the alleged victim reported that sometime between when she was 9 and 11, Rivas attempted to get her to touch him.

When contacted by police, Rivas denied inappropriately touching her, but did admit to “massaging” her leg on June 22.

In Superior Court on Wednesday, Deputy Prosecutor Silvia Irimescu requested bail be set at $100,000, which was agreed upon by Judge Andrew Toynbee.

Rivas arraignment hearing has been scheduled for July 2.

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