Richard L. Riley
Here are some excerpts from the closing arguments at the sexual assault trial of Richard Lumar Riley, the parole officer accused of having sex with a female parolee.
(Note to readers: Be forewarned. Some of arguments are fairly graphic in nature.)
In keeping with the Gazette policy on alleged sex assault victims, I am withholding the name of the woman.
‘Hold him accountable’
First, the argument made by Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Viehman:
“The real issue here is whether Mr. Riley used his position to coerce (the woman) to submit.”
“…He didn’t meet her at Whole Foods. He didn’t meet her at the wine club. He didn’t meet her at the bar….He could sleep with anyone in the entire world, except her.”
Viehman described how Riley gradually broke down the professional boundaries that normally exist between a parolee and a parole officer.
She reads off a set of alleged quotes by Riley that the victim testified to during the trial:
“If only I’d met you under different circumstances.”
“You look hot.”
“See what you do to me? (grabbing his crotch) You make me hot.”
Viehman then added: “There is no more line any more. He has crossed completely over that line and there is no where else for (the woman) to go.”
The prosecutor talks about how some of the coercion worked to the woman’s advantage, especially after an episode where she got drunk on a business trip to Las Vegas.
“I’ll make parole easy for you,” Viehman quoted Riley as saying.
“He does nothing about this huge relapse. Nothing! Does he send her in for that? Does he express any concern? No. Nothing. Let it go.”
Then Viehman quotes from Riley’s own report on the woman:
“Subject would be a good candidate for early release from parole.”
Viehman quotes Riley as telling the woman “You’re not going back to DOC (Department of Corrections.)
“Nice reminder.” Viehman said. “Who’s in control? Who holds the key? He does.”
Viehman said the implicit message that Riley sent to the woman was this: “If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me.”
“This is about him,” she told the jury. “Hold him accountable.”
‘Her ace in the hole’
Next, Riley’s defense attorney Sebasti Adams offered her closing argument:
She accused investigators with the Colorado Springs Police and the Department of correction of doing an “incompetent” investigation.
“This is an example of them trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” she said.
“…(The woman) was very clear from the get go who she wanted to target: my client.”
Adams questioned why the woman could not remember the dates of the alleged sexual incidents.
“…This isn’t a matter of what (the woman) feels and thinks. It’s a matter of what my client knows.”
She suggested the woman’s ability to describe the Denver motel room where the second incident allegedly occurred could have been the result of her looking through the room’s window during a visit to the hotel with a victim’s advocate.
Adams also reminded jurors that the woman’s boyfriend admitted on the witness stand that he also had stayed at the same motel.
Part of the prosecution’s case was that the woman was able to correctly describe Riley as being “uncircumcised.”
Adams suggested that could have been the result of parole officers and male parolees sharing the same bathroom.
“Parolees talk,” she said.
She also noted that among African-Americans such as Riley, the woman had “a 50-50 shot” if she had guessed he was uncircumcised.
Adams reminded the juror’s of the woman’s five felony convictions and her two convictions for false reporting.
The defense lawyer also talked about a trip the woman made to Las Vegas where she became intoxicated and later claimed she had been drugged and raped. She also claimed her credit card had been stolen although it later turned up.
Adams urged the jurors to listen again to the tape-recorded phone call that the woman made to Riley while a detective listened in.
“You listen and make your own decision,” she said. “But listen carefully to what’s going on.”
By raising the sex assault allegations, the woman was able to skip out of some requirements of her probation, Adams said.
“She was allowed, pretty much, to just walk away,” Adams said. “It was her get-out-of-jail card, her ace in the hole.”
Adams suggested that the woman also raised allegations out of fear of losing her boyfriend, a U.S. Army officer who was about to retire.
“It was her way of reassuring her sugar daddy – who was upset that she had cheated on him – that everything was OK.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a woman who has used and abused the system her entire life.”
Adams asked the jury to find Riley not guilty of all charges.
‘A good guesser’
Deputy District Attorney Donna Billek had the last word in her rebuttal argument:
She urged jurors not to pay attention to some of the “distractions” raised by the defense, such as the woman’s behavior while in Las Vegas.
“The incident in Las Vegas? Who cares?” Billek asked. “This has nothing to do with the other incidents.”
“It also shows that her parole officer did nothing about it,” she added.
She described the “hot UA” or positive results on a urine analysis of the woman as being another form of leverage that Riley held over her.
“Who’s got the ace in the hole? The defendant does,” Billek said. “If he can’t control her, he’s using it.”
“You may not like her,” Billek said of the woman. “But you know that she’s not the mastermind that the defense wants you to believe.”
Billek ridiculed the idea that somehow the woman had a 50-50 chance of knowing that Riley was uncircumcised.
“She’s just a great guesser,” Billek said.
She also derided the idea that somehow other parolees noticed that while standing next to Riley in the bathroom.
Stay tuned to the Sidebar for the verdict in this trial