KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Monday night, Angel Luis Rivera, accused of abuse of a dead body and failure to report a death in the murder of missing St. Cloud mother, Nicole Montalvo, walked out of jail after posting bond. Now his son speaks out about what life was like inside the Rivera household.
- Giulio Rivera alleges violent upbringing in the Rivera houshold
- He said his father Angel Luis Rivera abused him
- Giulio is half-brother to Nicole Montalvo's estranged husband
- PREVIOUS COVERAGE:
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- Estranged Husband Charged in Murder of Nicole Montalvo Held Without Bond
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His son Giulio Rivera, who is also the brother-in-law of Montalvo, who was found dismembered in St. Cloud in October 2019, said he’s not surprised the Sheriff’s Office has connected his relatives to her death.
Giulio Rivera showed Spectrum News 13 an image from 2016 — Christmas at the Riveras, he called it. The photo gives a glimpse back in time to what may look like any other family. But Giulio Rivera said what happened behind the lens of this camera is a whole different picture.
“Every breath I took was scarier than the last,” he said.
What the camera doesn’t show he said is a history of physical and sexual abuse. A 2003 report by the St. Cloud Police Department details Angel Rivera’s arrest for domestic battery against his son.
The report stated, “Giulio started to exit the vehicle and Angel punched Giulio on the left side of his mouth with his right fist.”
“I didn’t know when I was going to get beat, for why or for what,” Giulio Rivera said.
Giulio Rivera, one of several kids, said he managed to escape at age 17. His half-brother Christopher Otero-Rivera continued his life, marrying Montalvo and having a child.
Giulio showed pictures of him bonding with this sister-in-law who he describes as a happy person. But again, pictures don’t tell the whole story, he told Spectrum News 13 during a sit down interview.
In 2018, court records show Christopher Otero-Rivera also turned to violence — kidnapping, choking, and threatening Montalvo. In 2019, she filed for divorce, but she didn’t make it to that day. Her body was found dismembered last October.
“You don’t deserve to be dehumanized in such a gruesome, unfathomable, cruel way… that could have been (me) if I didn’t escape,” Giulio Rivera said.
Giulio Rivera himself has a criminal record of battery and child abuse in his past, charges that have since been dismissed. However, he does not blame the Riveras for his own wrongdoing. He admits his faults but said he’s far from being a murderer.
For much of his life, Giulio Rivera said he’s been on a fight for freedom, a journey to heal from what pictures can’t show.
“Not everyone who has this last name is an evil piece of garbage, but also on the same token, what I would like for everyone to understand, first and foremost — you take fear. Either you let it rule you and destroy you, or you use it as your best friend, as a tool to survive and you fight back… That’s what I am doing,” he said.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office told Spectrum News 13 detectives have interviewed Giulio Rivera and are looking into his allegations depending on the relevance to the murder investigation.
ABOUT THE FAMILY:
- Angel Luis Rivera, Montalvo’s father-in-law posted a $160,000 bond Monday night.
- Montalvo’s mother-in-law, Wanda Rivera was arrested in connection with Montalvo's death. She is accused of tampering with evidence and lying to detectives. Wanda has since posted bail.
- Montalvo’s younger brother-in-law, Nicholas Rivera was deemed a person of interest in this case and arrested on separate charges (child pornography). Nicholas has also bonded out.
- While Christopher Otero-Rivera (Montalvo’s husband) is being held on no bond for violation of probation and having contact with Montalvo.