Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Exclusive: The Voices of the Victims of Sexual Abuse by MCPS Teachers, Coaches and Staff. The Michael Riley Sentencing.

"What he did to me was a betrayal of our school system, where children should be safe from predators."

Today the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD begins a series of posts that give the victims of sexual abuse by MCPS teachers, coaches and staff a voice.  

These courageous children and adults have spoken up in public courtrooms about the crimes committed against them while they were students in Montgomery County Public Schools.  Often the courtrooms are empty and these statements are not covered by the press.  No one from the Montgomery County Board of Education ever attends these sentencing hearings.  To date, no past or present Board of Education member has ever spoken up in support of these victims.  

We begin with the Victim Impact Statement presented at the sentencing of Michael John Riley.  Mr. Riley was sentenced on October 17, 2018.

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In Regards to M. Riley – Rockville High School Statement read in court on 10/15/18

This past spring, the Michigan State University travesty with the gymnast girls inspired me to send a letter to Mike Riley’s employer.  His employer passed the letter to the police and I finally had the guts to press charges.

In the Fall of 1983, I was a happy Junior in high school and on the Homecoming court and had plenty of teenage boys that wanted to date me.  I went to Homecoming with a senior and all was good.

Then my basketball coach decided to court me.  After the first time he kissed me in Dec 1983, I would not date or like another boy in high school.

I was only 16 and he was 29.

I was a child and I was manipulated. We had a 15-month affair.

Mike Riley said that if I went to UMBC he would move close to me so that we could be a real couple. We talked about marriage. He wrote me love letters and gave me gifts. I was completely infatuated with him.

He had another girlfriend the entire time – one that he told me he had broken up with. I’ve come to realize that rarely did we meet and not have sexual relations. This sick man used me for his perverted pleasure.

When he said we couldn’t see each other any more, he quickly became engaged with another teacher at the school. I was devastated but I would not tell authorities because “I loved him”. When I told my Mom, she said we would brush it under the rug and not tell my Dad. During the Spring of my senior year in high school, I cried myself to sleep every night because of him. I remember my eyesight was terrible.

For the next couple of years, I suffered severely from the stress and depression caused by him.  There was a lot crying. During my freshman year at college, I would call him when drunk and sad. He would take my calls and continued to tell me he loved me – this was his ploy to keep me “loyal” to him.

From college, I sent a letter to his fiancé and told her what he did to me. She called off their engagement, but they still married.

For 30 years, this man has been walking around high schools as an Athletic Director. He was completely unscathed from what he did to me. I know about 3 other girls he assaulted at Rockville High. When I finally moved to the anger phase and contemplated pressing charges, I didn’t because he had little kids.

His arrest this past May was liberating to me. It validated the hurt and anger that I’ve carried with me over the years. What he did to me was a betrayal of our school system, where children should be safe from predators.  I was the victim of sexual abuse during a time when parents brushed it under a rug to prevent public embarrassment.

He haunted my dreams for 20+ years. The long-term impact on me was that no matter how well I did at anything in life, I constantly battled low self-esteem. I am a strong, smart, successful woman with a husband and 2 kids. But, needless to say, the hurt has been psychologically damaging to me throughout my life.  For example, until recently I would have episodes of intense anger and then debilitating hurt if someone lied to me or if I felt betrayed.

Beyond justice, I want Mike Riley’s sentencing to be an example to teachers and coaches to leave teenagers alone both physically and mentally.  It’s wrong, causes life altering damage, and illegal.

I also hope any girls who hear about this case will learn two things:  1) do not be afraid to press charges, and 2) no, he doesn’t love you – he’s only using you for sex.

1 comment:

  1. 3) What do you do when you are not afraid to press charges, but your cries fall on deaf ears?

    ReplyDelete

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