After climbing to success as a Latin American recording artist, Jenni Rivera will revisit her turbulent past this month, when her ex-husband faces a criminal trial for allegedly molesting the singer’s daughter and sister. Rivera, a Long Beach native who was named Female Mexican Regional Artist of the Year at a Latin awards show in Miami two months ago, is expected to be called as a witness in the case of Trinidad Marin, 43, the father of her three oldest children. Marin, who is free on $1 million bail, is charged with nine felonies – including counts of child rape, continuous sexual abuse of a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. For years, Rivera has publicly discussed her abusive relationship with Marin. Her new album, “Mi Vida Loca,” features a cover version of Gloria Gaynor’s female-empowerment anthem “I Will Survive.” Despite a gag order issued at the behest of Marin’s attorney, Rivera has not been shy to comment on the case. Last Wednesday, as she walked out of the courthouse in oversized sunglasses and heavy makeup, the cameras swooped in for interviews with her and members of her family. They obliged. “Now that he’s arrested, it’s hard to go back and relive everything and go to court when you’re a public figure,” Rivera told Guidelive.com earlier this month. “Your records are public records. But at the same time, I can’t say I regret it because I got the best gift that life and God could give me, which are my children, from that relationship.” Marin, known as “Trino,” was charged with sexual abuse in 1997 after his daughter and sister-in-law reported that they had been victimized over several years in the early 1990s, both before and after his split from Rivera. The charges stem from a series of incidents that allegedly took place between about 1988 and 1997, mostly at residences in Long Beach. His sister-in-law was 7 when the alleged abuse began; his daughter was 8. According to the transcripts of a preliminary hearing last year, both girls experienced the abuse – which consisted mostly of fondling – more frequently when Marin was fighting with his wife. The victims, who are now in their 20s, said they opted to keep the molestation quiet for years because Marin had threatened to harm other family members if they told. Finally, in 1997, the sister-in-law said, she realized she didn’t have to remain silent any longer. “There was a story about another girl being molested by an adult, and I remember my brother defending the girl and believing her immediately,” she recalled from the witness stand. “So I said, `If they believe her, then they’ll for sure believe me, and they’ll defend me, and they’ll protect me.”‘ Rivera’s daughter with Marin was 12 years old at the time. She testified that she refused to turn her father in because he threatened to send her to Mexico to live with his mother – a prospect that terrified her. “Also,” she testified, “I was afraid that my mom would get very angry and possibly, I don’t know … I felt that she would probably kill him or something, and she would go to jail, and he would be dead. I didn’t know where I was going to be. I was just afraid.” Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani, who will preside over the trial, prohibited the sides from interacting until the end of the case. While the details of Marin’s defense are unclear, Poland has indicated that he intends to argue that the allegations were manufactured by Rivera. “It’s the defense position that the entire case is brought to revive a rather mediocre singing career by the mother of one of the victims,” Poland said at the preliminary hearing. “That this whole case is an attempt to garner and create some sort of publicity.” The trial is set to begin April 30. [email protected] (562) 499-1272. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!