Award-winning S.C. composer faces child porn charges

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Rivas mug shot
  • Rivas mug shot
A composer who's done musical work for kids shows including Sesame Street and Disney's Handy Manny is facing child pornography charges in Charleston, S.C., according to a story in today's Charleston Post and Courier.

Which begs the question: If you can't trust your children with the guy who wrote "Elmopalooza" (which was sung by Latin star Gloria Estefan), who can you trust?

Here's more:


Fernando Rivas, 59, wore a tan jacket and glasses and entered a not-guilty plea on the charges of production, transportation and possession of child pornography. A judge set his bond at $300,000, and he posted the 10 percent required for release immediately following the hearing.

Rivas' resume lists ties to Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Disney hired him to compose the music for "Handy Manny," a children's animated TV program about a bilingual handyman and his talking tools.

The accusations against him stem from someone else's arrest in New Jersey on charges of possession of child pornography, according to a North Charleston police report. Local officers helped FBI agents with a search warrant of Rivas' home on Falling Embers Lane on April 19.

There, according to court records, investigators found photographs of a 4-year-old girl naked and "restrained in handcuffs and other bondage-type devices." Records from that search say investigators read Rivas his rights and that he admitted to taking the photographs and using handcuffs to restrain the girl.

The records say Rivas also admitted to sending the pictures to two other people by email.


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