Police & Courts

Former nursing home chaplain sentenced to 26 years in sex abuse cases

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 10, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- The former chaplain for a Quincy nursing home was sentenced to 26 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to multiple sex abuse charges, including ones alleging he abused two residents at the facility.

James E. Riley pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sexual abuse, one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of criminal sexual assault Monday in Adams County Circuit Court. As part of his negotiated plea two counts of criminal sexual assault were dropped.

He was sentenced to seven years for each count of criminal sexual abuse, six years for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and six years for criminal sexual assault.

Sentencing guidelines call for Riley to serve 85 percent of the sentence for the sexual assault charges and 50 percent for the sexual abuse charges, meaning he must serve just over 17 years before he is eligible for parole.

Riley, 58, was arrested June 24 after the Quincy Police Department was contacted by Good Samaritan Home administrators who reported a resident's inappropriate sexual contact by a chaplain.

Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Anita Rodriguez said an 88-year-old resident who had lived at Good Samaritan Home for three weeks reported she had been grabbed inappropriateness by a chaplain. The woman initially told another resident about the incident.

The resident later identified Riley in a photo lineup.

Another 78-year-old resident interviewed by police said that she had seen Riley perform in a play with Quincy Community Theatre. Rodriguez said the woman told police that she kept the program and had even circled his biography in it.

Riley later visited her room where she said that he inappropriately touched her. She remembered Riley from the program.

Rodriguez said the resident told administrator at Good Samaritan Home before her memory got worse.

Riley was later charged with the sexual assault charges stemming from July 1, 2001, and Dec. 6, 2003.

Rodriguez said these charges were filed after an investigation that started with an anonymous call was made to police.

Rodriguez said one victim reported that Riley had sexual contact with her when she was 4 years old in Pennsylvania, and it happened later when they were in Quincy.

Rodriguez also said that another victim reported that Riley also started having sexual contact with her when she was 12 and living in Pennsylvania and continued until she was 15 and living in Pennsylvania.

One of the victims was interviewed in 2012 by the Children's Advocacy Center, but the state's attorney declined to file charges in the case at the time.

Rodriguez said that the sentences for the sex abuse charges were the maximum sentence allowed, and that victims in the other case had requested a minimum sentence.

"It certainly brings not joy to anyone, but it is the right negotiation," Rodriguez said.

In concurring with negotiated plea, Judge Robert Adrian said he was somewhat disappointed that nothing happened after charges didn't move forward in 2012 and potentially prevent other abuse.

Riley received credit for 68 days served in the Adams County Jail. He had been held in the jail on $500,000 bond.

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