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Former local police officer pleads guilty to sending obscene material to a child

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ROVIDENCE – A former Narragansett, RI, police officer pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence Thursday to a charge of transfer of obscene material to a minor, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Harold H. Shaw, and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge Chief Judge William E. Smith, Matthew C. Riley, 51, of Narragansett, admitted to the Court that in approximately late 2015 or early 2016, he began communicating with an individual via a website and through text messaging and other messaging communication technologies, such as Snapchat and Kik messenger. Early in their communications, the person with whom Riley was communicating told him that she was 15-years-old and that she was a 9th grade student. On May 9, 2016, in a series of texts with the 15-year-old, Riley discussed what time her high school day ended; that she was in 9th grade; and that she did not turn 16 until October.

During his communications with the 15-year-old, Riley identified himself as “Chris M.” and told her he was 29-years-old, lived in Boston, was in the Navy, and worked as a physical therapist.

Over the course of a few months, at times stopping for days or weeks, and then resuming, Riley’s communications with the 15-year-old included sexually explicit communications, including graphic, sexually explicit pictures of himself and videos of himself committing a sex act.

Riley is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2019.

The transfer of obscene matter to another individual who has not attained the age of 16 years is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Additionally, upon conviction, Riley will be required by statute to register as a sex offender.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.

The matter was investigated by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police.

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