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Former RI police officer sentenced to prison for transferring obscene material to a minor

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PROVIDENCE – A former police officer who admitted to engaging in sexually explicit discussions via social media and text message with a 15-year-old girl and transferring obscene material to her while employed by the Narragansett Police Department was sentenced Friday to 21 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

Mathew C. Riley, 52, of Narragansett, previously admitted to the Court that beginning in late 2015 or early 2016, he engaged in a series of sexually explicit and graphic communications with the 15-year-old 9th grade student using various social media platforms and text messaging. Riley admitted that he identified himself to the 15-year-old as being 29-year-old “Chris M.” who lived in Boston, and that he was in the Navy and that he worked as a physical therapist.

Riley admitted that the minor female repeatedly informed him that she was 15-years-old. During a series of communications on May 9, 2016, Riley discussed with the girl the fact that she was a 9th grade student who would not turn sixteen until October. They also discussed what time her high school day ended. Riley admitted that his messaging with the 15-year-old included graphic, sexually explicit pictures of himself and videos of himself committing a sex act.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Riley to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration and ordered that he register as a sex offender. An amount of restitution to be paid by the defendant to the victim and her family is to be determined.

Riley pleaded guilty on November 8, 2018, to a charge of transfer of obscene material to a minor.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton. The matter was investigated by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the Nebraska State Patrol for their assistance investigating and preparing this matter for prosecution.

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