Retired Rockville High Teacher Charged With Sexually Abusing Female Student

Retired Rockville High Teacher Charged With Sexually Abusing Female Student

Michael Riley is currently an athletic director at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

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Michael John Riley

Via Montgomery County Police Department

A retired Rockville High School teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old student more than 30 years ago.

Michael John Riley, 63, stopped working for Montgomery County Public Schools in 2010, but he’s currently employed at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, according to county police. Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Department in April began investigating a report that Riley had repeated sexual encounters with a female student during the 1984-1985 school year.

The woman told police that she’d met Riley at the school and that the teacher had sex with her in Rockville High on multiple occasions, a police news release stated.

At the time, Riley worked as a basketball coach and history teacher at the school, according to charging documents.

The woman said she and Riley had sex once in the women's locker room during school hours and several times in his classroom after basketball practice, the court papers state. The two also met each other in hotels and nearby parks, according to the woman's account.

Riley told investigators he worked at Rockville High from 1981 to 1989, police reported.

Police on April 24 got an arrest warrant that charged Riley with child abuse by a custodian, school molestation on premises and school molestation by staff. Riley, who lives in the 200 block of Deer Run Drive in Walkersville, turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday. Online court records show he posted bail Wednesday.

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, where Riley is director of athletics and summer programs, learned of the allegations in mid-April. CESJDS quickly contacted police and child welfare workers and placed Riley on leave a short time later, according to the head of school.

“We have no reason to believe that Mr. Riley engaged in any inappropriate conduct at CESJDS,” Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, the head of school, wrote in a Tuesday letter to families. “We will be meeting with students in the coming days to reaffirm in an age-appropriate manner both our commitment to their safety, and the reporting and counseling resources available to them in difficult moments.”

MCPS hired Riley in 1979, and during his roughly 30 years with the school system, he worked as a teacher at Rockville and Richard Montgomery high schools and as athletic director at Poolesville and Clarksburg high schools, the school system reported. In 2010, after retiring from MCPS, he took a job at CESJDS.

MCPS officials issued a statement but decided against sending a letter to families because the alleged abuse happened several decades ago. 

Investigators are asking parents at CESJDS to speak with their children about their interactions with Riley and contact detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized. 

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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