Man accused of raping woman after returning her lost dog

Robert Rivera of Bridgeport, Conn. pleaded not guilty

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Bridgeport man has pleaded not guilty to raping an 18-year-old neighbor after finding and returning her lost dog.

The Connecticut Post reports that 30-year-old Robert Rivera was arraigned Tuesday on charges of sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Rivera remains free on $250,000 bond. He and his attorney declined to comment as they left court, but earlier Rivera had denied the charges.

Police say the woman was home alone in July when her dog ran away. She told investigators that Rivera knocked on her door holding the dog.

She says after she put the dog in her bedroom, Rivera grabbed her, threw her on a couch, and raped her as she screamed for help.

Police say Rivera was linked to the attack with DNA.