Giberto Rivera, of Leesville, was arrested and charged with one count of domestic abuse aggravated assault, and one count of domestic abuse battery. If convicted he faces a minimum two year prison sentence for the domestic abuse aggravated assault charge alone.
Rivera’s bond has not been set, because he has a pending Gwen’s Law hearing.
A Gwen’s Law refers to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 313. Passed in 2016, the law dictates that in cases of domestic abuse the court will determine the conditions of bail, or whether the defendant should be held without bail, pending trial.
The law gets its namesake from Gwen Salley, of Desoto Parish, who was murdered in 2014.
At the time, Salley was trying to get a divorce from her estranged husband Michael Salley. During the process Michael Salley was arrested for false imprisonment, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm.
After being charged, Michael Salley was released from prison on bond after spending less than a day in prison. He would then kidnap Gwen, murder her, and then take his own life.
Gwen’s Law seeks to prevent violent situations like that, and to protect victims of domestic abuse. Gwen’s Law hearings take place five days after a domestic violence arrest is made.