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HFD firefighter accused of fondling teenager

HOUSTON – A Houston Fire Department firefighter is accused of fondling a teenager, officials said.

WATCH: HFD firefighter Eric Rivera appears in court on indecency with a child charge

Eric Rivera, 40, is charged with indecency with a child younger than 17 years old.

The Houston Fire Department placed Rivera on administrative leave while the department conducts its own investigation of the child abuse allegations against him.

The teenager, who is a relative of Rivera, told investigators that the abuse began when she was 5 or 6 years old and continued until May 2015, according to court records. The girl told her mother about it after being hospitalized for depression, according to court documents.

Rivera denied all allegations but refused to provide a statement to sheriff's investigators, officials said.

He was arrested Friday.

He was released after posting a $20,000 bond. A protective order was also issued stipulating that he have no contact with the girl or her family. 

The charge against Rivera is a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment range of up to 20 years in prison.

Rivera was unavailable for comment Monday. He appeared in the 339th State District Court Tuesday morning.


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