Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Former Officer Hamilton Riley Arrested for Child Sexual Assault

A former Searcy police officer was arrested at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning in the bedroom of a 16-year-old girl, according to the White County Prosecuting Attorneys Office.

"Usually, he's here directing the kids and getting them across the street. That's about it," says Andrew Briggs, who saw Hamilton Riley outside Ahlf Junior High on several occasions.

Riley served as the school resource officer for more than three years, and more than seven on the Searcy Police Department.

News that Riley was arrested in the home of a 16-year-old girl is upsetting to parents.

Briggs explains, "Having a son-in-law for a police officer and having children, it's just not right. It's just not right.

Prosecutors confirm information about an inappropriate relationship was developed only on Monday. Special agents from the state police were brought in. And at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, those special agents arrested Riley inside the victim's home. By 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, Riley had offered his resignation as an officer with the Searcy Police Department.

White County Prosecutor Chris Raff says, "Anytime you see someone that has the trust and authority that a police officer does, and they are further placed in the position of being the go-to person for children and students, it's really a damning thing. It's a terrible situation. What we are alleging he has done is a terrible thing. And we're going to see that the law punishes him."

Tuesday, students at the school were not told about Riley's arrest. Now shocked parents are finding a way to tell their children their police officer won't be coming back

Briggs says, "Young girls and adults, that's just not the way it is."

Authorities released Riley after he posted a $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is in March

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