Woman warns sex offender to stay away from her child - WSMV News 4

Woman warns sex offender to stay away from her child

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Steven Jeffery Riva Steven Jeffery Riva

A local mother is warning a man who is on the sex offender registry to stay away from her daughter, or else.

The Channel 4 I-Team found the man has been convicted of sexual battery, several stalking charges, theft and indecent exposure.

And most recently, he was charged with stalking that woman's daughter.

Steven Jeffery Riva's convictions and charges span several counties, and he has been locked up in Coffee County's jail 14 times since 1997.

For this most recent charge of stalking, Riva served only a matter of hours.

Linda Gilliam's daughter lives in fear of 36-year-old Steven Riva. She says he tried to run her daughter off the road when she was 16.

"She saw his picture and started screaming and crying. She said, 'Mom, that was him. That was the guy that tried to run me off the road,'" Linda Gilliam said.

Then, most recently, Gilliam says he has been stalking her, following her to the store and showing up beside her car.

"He was waiting outside, like, really close to my car. He was waiting outside for me," the girl said.

Gilliam's daughter does not want her face shown or name used, and she says she is always afraid.

"I have to have somebody with me at all times. I cannot go anywhere by myself and that's not fair at all," she said.

Police arrested Riva and charged him with stalking the girl this week, but he back at home within a few hours.

The Channel 4 I-Team found Riva has been convicted of similar stalking charges across Middle Tennessee.

He has also been convicted several times of indecent exposure, theft and sexual battery.

Channel 4 traveled to Riva's home to speak with him. His uncle, who lives at the residence said he doesn't know where Riva is, how to find him or when he would be home.

"Late tonight, ain't no telling," the man said.

Coffee County sheriff's deputies say keeping someone like Riva behind bars is difficult, and they have no control over how long he stays in jail.

But they will keep arresting him each time he breaks the law.

Gilliam says that may be too late for her daughter and for others.

"There is no point in everybody waiting around and waiting around, then slapping him on the wrist and letting him out of jail, again and again," she said. "How much more do we need to take?"

Thursday, Linda Gilliam's daughter was granted an order of protection against Riva.

But Gilliam says she will not stop until Riva is kept away from her family and everyone else's.

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