You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

Friday, October 6, 2017

Former Police Officer Indicted, Arraigned on Obscenity Charge

PROVIDENCE – Matthew C. Riley, 50, of Narragansett, a former Narragansett Police Department K-9 Officer, was arraigned today in U.S. District Court in Providence on a federal grand jury indictment charging him with the transfer of obscene matter to a minor.


A plea of not guilty was entered before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan. Riley was released on unsecured bond.


The indictment, returned on Thursday and unsealed today, is announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division; and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.


According to information presented to the court, in June 2016, the parents of a juvenile female living in Nebraska reported to Nebraska State Patrol that they had information that their daughter had received sexually explicit online communications, including sexually explicit photographs, from a person who claimed to be a 29-year-old physical therapist from Boston. An investigation by Nebraska State Patrol linked the alleged communications to an Internet address at Matthew Riley’s Narragansett, Rhode Island residence and online accounts used by Riley. Among the materials allegedly retrieved by investigators was a sexually explicit photograph Riley allegedly took of himself and allegedly sent to the victim. Nebraska State Patrol provided this information to the FBI.


As a result of the information provided by the Nebraska State Patrol and additional information gathered by the FBI in Rhode Island, on May 31, 2017, a federal court authorized search of Riley’s residence, cell phones, digital storage devices, his personal vehicle and his assigned police cruiser was conducted by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police.


An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


The transfer of obscene matter to another individual who has not attained the age of 16 years punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release and a fine of $250,000.


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


Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch acknowledges and thanks the Nebraska State Patrol for their continued assistance investigating and preparing this matter for prosecution.



Project Safe Childhood
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357 email: on Twitter @USAO_RI
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 6, 2017