Local composer of 'Handy Manny' songs charged with child pornography

Fernando Rivas (Courtesy: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A former Porter Gaud instructor and local composer has been charged with producing, distributing and possessing child pornography.

Investigators say Fernando Rivas, known worldwide for his contribution to Playhouse Disney's Handy Manny, did knowingly use, persuade, induce and coerce a person under the age of 18 to take sexually explicit photos and or video.

Investigators say the 59-year-old shared the pornographic material on the Internet.

According to a North Charleston Police Department incident report, a New Jersey resident was in possession of child pornography that originated from Rivas' computer. {}Police issued a search warrant on April 19. Upon viewing the computer, investigators say it was found some of the child pornography had been sent from Fernando Rivas.

In addition to his work with Handy Manny, Rivas also composed promotional spots for Nickelodeon. In 1995 and 1996, he received two Emmys for work with Sesame Street.

In a statement released on Monday, Porter Gaud School shared Rivas was a part-time jazz instructor on the upper school's campus from 2002-2009.

"Mr. Rivas resigned in 2009 due to increasing work outside of his school obligations," said Porter Gaud director of communications Brink Norton. "We are unaware of any connection between the charges against him and Porter Gaud, and we are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation."

{}Rivas was released on bond Monday under the following conditions:

He will appear in court as required.

He will not obtain a passport.

He will refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons.

He will refrain from excessive use of alcohol.

He will refrain from the possession of illegal narcotics.

He will submit to regular drug and alcohol testing.

He will participate in substance abuse therapy.

He will be placed on home detention (He is restricted to his home at all times except for work, education, religious services, medical treatment, attorney visits and court appearances.

He will not contact the victim.

He will have no access to the Internet or computers which communicate with another computer.

He will not possess pornographic material.

He will provide detailed telephone and credit card records as directed.

He will not be in the company of a child under the age of 18 unless an adult who is aware of the charges is present, and visitation has been previously approved by pretrial services.

He will provide disclosure of the nature of these charges to any present or future employer should the employment involve contact with children under the age of 18.