Defense in sex assault case seeks victim's cell phone
BRENTWOOD — A home care worker charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a mentally disabled male client is asking a judge to order that the alleged victim turn over his cell phone so it can be examined by a defense-hired expert.
John Riley, 41, of Milton wants a defense expert to examine the phone to counter claims that he made incriminating statements on text messages to his alleged victim, according to court records.
Riley is accused of sexually assaulting the 35-year-old man in a car while the two were at a Portsmouth parking lot last Nov. 2.
Defense lawyer Lincoln Soldati said in court papers that Portsmouth police had seized his client’s cell phone and took photographs of the screen to record text messages, but that some of the information contradicts statements made by the victim.
“Apparently, the photographs of the defendant’s cell phone screens constitute the only forensic analysis performed by the police and are of limited utility,” Solidati said in court papers.
Riley claims, “that there were text messages and photos sent to (him) which would impeach statements (the man) has made to the police,” Soldati said in court papers.
Riley was working for Living Innovations, an agency that provides care for the elderly and people with developmental disabilities, when he was arrested by police, according to police.
Riley allegedly had the victim in his car following a Halloween-themed dance hosted at Living Innovations offices, located at 1950 Lafayette Road in Portsmouth.
Police said Riley pulled over in the parking lot of a Home Depot store on Brady Avenue on his way home, and performed a sex act on the victim against his will, according to police.
Riley allegedly showed nude pictures of himself kept on his cell phone to the victim, police said.
Soldati argued that the defense should be allowed to obtain the alleged victim’s cell phone and have it forensically examined by one of their own experts.
Prosecutors have told the defense that Portsmouth police never asked for or viewed the man’s cell phone.
Soldati also criticized an effort by county prosecutors to have his request for the phone sealed from public view.
“The defendant has a right to a ‘public’ trial and the pleadings in this case are public records,” Solidati said in a court motion. He argued that the state had no legal authority to pursue sealing the defense’s motion seeking evidence in the case.
Riley faces up to 10 to 20 years in state prison if he is convicted of the sexual assault charges.
The kidnapping carries a potential 3½- to 7-year prison term.