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Home » News » Crime

April 03. 2014 10:28PM

Prosecutors seeking other possible complaints against former health care worker


BRENTWOOD — Prosecutors want to gain access to employment records of a former home care worker accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a male client in Portsmouth to determine whether other patients had complained about inappropriate conduct.

John Riley, 41, of Milton, is headed to trial in May on charges that he sexually assaulted a 35-year-old man on Nov. 2, 2012 while they were in a car in a Portsmouth parking lot.

At the time, Riley was working for Living Innovations, an agency that provides care for the elderly, and people with developmental disabilities.

Riley has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and aggravated felonious sexual assault. He maintains that any sexual contact he had with the man was consensual, according to court documents filed by his lawyer.

Prosecutors now say that they want to review Riley’s employment records because the victim “as well as other individuals that (Riley) was hired to serve” may have complained about being subjected to improper conduct.

Last month, a 24-year-old Lee man filed a civil lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court claiming that he was sexually abused by Riley as well, but that his complaints went unheard.

Judge Kenneth McHugh said he will first review Riley’s employment records before deciding whether prosecutors can review them. Defense lawyer Lincoln Soldati objected to the state’s records request.

Prosecutors also asked McHugh to order Frisbie Memorial Hospital to turn over records of a possible suicide attempt by Riley on Jan. 10, 2013.

Milton police were called to Riley’s home for a welfare check on that date.

Riley was found by police on his bathroom floor “with obvious signs of intoxication,” Assistant County Attorney Terri Harrington said in a court motion. “They located an empty wine bottle and two empty packages of over the counter sleeping pills. None of the 56 tablets as contained in the packages could be located.”

Riley was involuntarily admitted to the hospital, prosecutors said.

Within an eight-day period, Community Partners of Dover had another developmentally disabled man placed in Riley’s home for care removed in the wake of the investigation, according to prosecutors. Portsmouth and Milton police executed a search warrant at Riley’s home four days later in connection with the sexual assault investigation.

Harrington argued that the likely suicide attempt “(points) to the defendant’s consciousness of guilt” and that the records may produce more witnesses for the state’s case. Riley’s trial is scheduled to begin the week of May 5.

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