Retired staff sergeant recalled, sentenced on child sex abuse charge

by Vern Evans

An Army retired staff sergeant recalled to active duty has been sentenced to nine years for sexual abuse of a minor.

Staff Sgt. William Rivers, 55, pleaded guilty to charges he sexually abused his stepdaughter over multiple years in Hawaii and Florida prior to his military retirement in 2017, according to a release from the Army Office of Special Trial Counsel.

The Army stood up the special trial counsel office in late 2023 with independent authority separate from command authority for serious Uniform Code of Military Justice offenses.

“The outcome of this case shows that the Army will pursue justice even after an offender retires from the service,” said Maj. Steven Poland, lead prosecutor, Second Circuit, Army Office of Special Trial Counsel.

“While the process may take a significant amount of time and resources, it is important for victims to know that we will do everything in our power to hold their abusers accountable for their actions,” Poland said. “The victim in this case was strong and patient, I am glad she was able to seek justice and hope she continues to heal.”

Authorities arrested Rivers at Camp Humphreys, South Korea in December 2023 where he worked as a government contractor, according to the release. He has remained in custody near Fort Moore, Georgia since his arrest.

On May 8, Rivers pleaded guilty to five specifications of sexual abuse of a child. He must serve at least 80 months of his sentence based on the terms of his plea agreement. Rivers was reduced in rank to private and given a bad conduct discharge.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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