An uncle is accused of giving his 11-year-old great niece fentanyl and raping her as she lay dying.
Precious Wallaces was found struggling to breathe in her uncle Miguel Rivera’s home and died in hospital after spending two days in a coma.
According to authorities, the young girl was sexually assaulted on the night she took the drug and Rivera’s DNA was found in her body.
Fentanyl is a prescription painkiller used to treat chronic diseases and is 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Now Rivera, 58, has been beaten by a fellow inmate in Essex County Jail on Tuesday and is now being held in solitary confinement, according to the Boston Herald.
He had been charged with rape just hours before the brawl after new evidence was released.
Rivera, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was already charged with permitting substantial bodily injury to a child and misleading a police investigation.
Authorities have not yet announced the cause of death for the girl but confirmed fentanyl and the sleeping drug amitriptyline were in her system.
Bumps And Bruises
Precious had been staying at her uncle’s apartment on December 15 as she did every weekend when an ambulance was called at 3:30am the following morning.
A young relative told police that Rivera had given Precious a red pill to help her sleep, which is something he is said to have done when Precious stayed over.
After finding Precious unconscious, Rivera flushed the pills down the toilet and called 911, authorities say.
He denied giving her the fentanyl, but said he was scared that she may have taken them on her own.
He also denies raping his niece.
A judge ordered a search warrant of Rivera’s apartment but it has been sealed from the public as the details could jeopardise a grand jury investigation.
Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger said Rivera had been left with “bumps and bruises” after being jumped in jail.
Coppinger said: “He’ll now be in a single cell 24/7 and will have no other interaction with inmates.”
Rivera has spent a portion of the last two decades in jail, according to records.
In 1992 he was given five years in prison for a possession of cocaine and heroin and a firearm offence.
In 1996 he was sentenced to another five years for a drugs charge.
He was put on probation in 2013 for assaulting a cab driver.
Rivera is due back in court in March.