County caseworker charged in physical abuse of daughter

September 28, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A caseworker with the Washington County Department of Juvenile Justice has been charged in Allegany County with physically abusing his own child.

Matthew Alan Riley, 35, of 706 Shriver Ave., Cumberland, was released on $5,000 bond Sept. 8, according to Allegany County District Court records.

The charges include child abuse: parent, second-degree assault, obstructing justice and hindering, according to court records.

Contacted at his office Friday, Riley said he is innocent.

"The facts will come out and will demonstrate that I am a committed member of my family," he said.

He said he felt the actions taken by authorities in Cumberland didn't help his family's efforts to work through some problems.

As a caseworker for Juvenile Justice, Riley counsels families of children who have gotten into trouble.

According to Allegany County District Court records, Cumberland City Police were called to Riley's home on Sept. 7.

Court records said Riley's daughter, 12, called another sister on the telephone to report that Riley had struck her, grabbed her by the hair and kicked her. The sister called police.


When police arrived at Riley's home, he allegedly wouldn't let them in, forcing officers to kick in the door, court records said.

The 12-year-old told police she had been hit with a belt, court records said.

A preliminary hearing will be held Oct. 2, court records said.

Riley also faces an Oct. 13 court date in Allegany County District Court for disorderly conduct and disobeying a police officer in connection with an Aug. 1 incident at the Rocky Gap music festival at Allegany County Community College, court records said.

Riley allegedly pushed other spectators while trying to get near the stage area, court records said. When police told him to leave, he refused, records said.

Harry Langmead, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, said Friday that Riley is still an active employee with the department.

Langmead said agency procedure is to take action at time of conviction, not when the charges are filed.

"The case is being watched very carefully," Langmead said.

Cumberland Times reporter Jeff Alderton contributed to this story.

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