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Kevin F. Rivers and Sherry C. Rice

2018 Federal Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Kevin F. Rivers and Sherry C. Rice | Federal Service Award
Sacaton, Arizona

Detective Kevin Rivers of the Gila River Police Department and FBI Special Agent Sherry C. Rice have earned the Federal Service Award for their outstanding investigation of a serial child sex offender who had been offending for a 30-year period on the Gila River Indian Community. 

On January 28, 2016, Gila River Police Detective Rivers was assigned to a sexual abuse case involving a 10-year-old victim living in the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. While investigating that offense, he learned that the suspect had previously been accused of child sexual abuse on multiple occasions dating back to 1982, and that the suspect had two previous convictions of child sexual abuse in the community. 

Recognizing the potential enormity of the investigation, Detective Rivers sought the assistance of the FBI, which assigned Special Agent Rice to the case. She and Detective Rivers served as co-case agents and worked the case in earnest. This included locating and reviewing all evidence associated with the prior investigations (including gathering information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) archives and BIA agencies’ archives), and locating and re-interviewing all previously identified victims. 

The team also scoured through the available evidence to identify other possible victims the suspect had access to over the 30-year period. Women who had previously never disclosed their victimization (as children) were able to trust law enforcement and share their stories for the first time. 

Because of Detective Rivers’ and Special Agent Rice’s dedication, teamwork, relentless pursuit of justice, and willingness to go the extra mile to make the victims feel comfortable with the process, the suspect was charged with 24 counts related to 7 different victims. The relief and vindication for each of these victims—girls who believed the system would fail them—will have a lasting impact on them and the whole community. It will empower future victims and give them strength and faith that, upon disclosure, justice is possible, and that the goal is to always keep all children safe from those who would harm them.

2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about Kevin F. Rivers and Sherry C. Rice, 2018 recipient of the Federal Service Award.