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Abuse charge dropped

February 08, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A charge of physically abusing his own child has been dropped against a Washington County Department of Juvenile Justice caseworker, according to Allegany County Circuit Court records.

Matthew Alan Riley, 35, of Cumberland, appeared before Judge Fred Sharer on Jan. 6, according to court records.

At that hearing, a charge of child abuse: parent, was dismissed by Allegany County State's Attorney Lawrence Kelly, court records said.

Additional charges of second-degree assault, obstructing justice and hindering were placed on a stet, or inactive docket, court records said.

Those charges can be reinstated for any reason within a year and with good cause after a year, according to Maryland law.

Last fall, Riley said he was innocent of the charges.

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

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As a DJJ caseworker, 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 then 12-year-old daughter 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.

At the Jan. 6 hearing, Riley was ordered to have no further run-ins with the law, to pay $140 court costs, have no unsupervised visits with the victim and then only at the Family Crisis Resources Center in Cumberland, court records said.

He was also told to remain away from the victim and the home, court records said.

Riley continues to be an active employee with DJJ in Washington County, according to agency spokesman Bob Kannenberg. His employment was never interrupted.

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