Jose S. Nova-Rivera, 37, of Harvard

A Harvard man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for sexually assaulting and sexually abusing two children as he continued to claim the victims were lying.

Jose S. Nova-Rivera, 37, of the 1000 block of 9th Street in Harvard, was charged in one case with six counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

In a second case, Nova-Rivera was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and four counts of criminal sexual assault.

The Harvard Police Department arrested Nova-Rivera on January 30, 2020, after an arrest warrant was issued for him the day prior.

A criminal complaint filed in court alleged that Nova-Rivera committed a sex act on a female juvenile in 2015 and 2016.

In 2017 and 2018, Nova-Rivera allegedly sexually penetrated the child, according to the complaint.

[Suggested Article]  $250K bond for armed man who allegedly fled from police in stolen vehicle, later crashed into 2 cars and building in Waukegan

Nova-Rivera was also accused of sexually assaulting a second child in 2017 and 2019.

Court records show that the victims were family relatives of Nova-Rivera.

One of the victims was under the age of 13 and the other was between 13-17 years old.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge in April found Nova-Rivera guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child, a Class 2 felony. Nova-Rivera was found not guilty on the other charges.

Coppedge, who was also presiding over the other case against Nova-Rivera, found the man guilty last month of two counts of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.

After Nova-Rivera’s first conviction, Coppedge sentenced the man in June to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, which will be served at 50%.

[Suggested Article]  'Truly devoted to community service': Former North Chicago fire chief, Air Force veteran dies at age 91

Coppedge sentenced Nova-Rivera to 24 years in prison on Wednesday in his second case. He had faced between eight and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for his second case.

The Northwest Herald reported that Nova-Rivera spoke in court before sentencing in both cases and each time said his accusers were lying.

Coppedge took into account Nova-Rivera’s lack of apology and remorse in the sentencing.

“A man makes peace with his family in his own way,” Coppedge said, the Northwest Herald reported.

“Maybe it is in denial. … The cloak of alleged victims no longer applies. They are real victims. (Nova-Rivera) said they destroyed his life and he and his family have been wronged. … He continues to assert that he and his family are the victims,” Coppedge said.

[Suggested Article]  NTSB investigators leading investigation into plane crash that killed 1 near airport in Wonder Lake

Nova-Rivera will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

He remains held in the McHenry County Jail without bond awaiting transport to the Illinois Department of Corrections.