An attorney representing a leader in the Villagers for Trump political organization has filed a motion seeking a new trial after a jury found him guilty last week of voter fraud.
Robert Rivernider Jr., 58, was found guilty this past week in Sumter County Court of casting a forged ballot on behalf of his deceased father. Rivernider’s attorney, Anthony Sabatini, filed a motion for a new trial the same day his client was convicted.
Rivernider Jr., who lives at Continental Country Club in Wildwood, was charged with having signed a vote-by-mail ballot for his father, Robert Rivernider Sr., according to an elections fraud complaint from Sumter County Supervisor of Elections William Keen. The senior Rivernider died on Oct. 19, 2020. The vote-by-mail envelope was signed and dated Oct. 16, 2020, but postmarked on Oct. 23, 2020. It was received by the local elections office on Oct. 26, 2020.
Sabatini, who is running against incumbent Congressman Daniel Webster in the GOP primary, in his motion for a new trial, points to the testimony of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab technician who said that Rivernider Jr. “probably” signed the cursive signature on the ballot.
“Such evidence falls short of the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard upon which a reasonable jury could find a conviction as a matter of law,” Sabatini wrote in his motion.
Rivernider is already on federal probation for a 2013 conspiracy and wire fraud conviction. He won a “compassionate release” from federal prison during the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed his father’s life.