SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday for the brutal attack of his former girlfriend with a metal baseball bat in 2019, according to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
In March, Juan Antonio Rivera, 49, initially pleaded “not guilty” to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The DA’s office said it was able to get a conviction in the case without the victim’s assistance.
Evidence presented during the trial showed Rivera beat the 37-year-old woman with a metal baseball bat on Aug. 17, 2019. She initially said she was hit by a car but later confessed to paramedics and doctors that her boyfriend assaulted her with a bat.
Rivera attacked the woman again while out on bond and was arrested again in March 2020 and has remained in jail since then.
The DA’s office said prosecutors’ evidence included testimony from EMS personnel and police, as well as calls Rivera made from jail telling the woman to lie about what had happened to her.
Rivera also intimidated and convinced the woman not to cooperate with prosecutors and not go to court, the DA’s office said.
“Our team understood why the victim did not want to face this defendant in court. This is a challenge in many family violence cases,” said Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales. “We were fortunate that we had enough evidence to prove this case without retraumatizing this victim. While she has lived in fear for nearly three years, I hope that she finds some peace in the fact that this defendant is no longer in a position to hurt her.”
The DA’s office said Rivera was charged as a habitual offender due to previous convictions for burglary of a habitation by force in 2004 and 2011.
Judge Ron Rangel sentenced Rivera to 40 years in prison, and he must serve at least 20 before he is eligible for parole.