Matthew Reilly, the former Rhode Island councilman who made national headlines after being busted with an alleged crack pipe, is in the news again after being hit with child molestation charges.
Reilly was a councilman for the city of Cranston, the second-largest city in Rhode Island. Reilly, a Republican, resigned after police bodycam video caught him asleep in a car with an alleged crack pipe. The police officer is seen on bodycam footage telling Reilly, "You have a crack pipe in your hand."
Police said they found the councilman with drug paraphernalia and a "white, rock-like substance" containing crack cocaine and fentanyl.
He was arrested on May 15 and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Reilly resigned from his city council seat on May 18. Reilly had been in his first term on the city council, where he represented Ward 6.
The 41-year-old former city council member was arrested again on Thursday; this time, he was accused of child sex crimes.
Cranston police detectives, North Kingston police, and investigators from the attorney general's special victims unit arrested Reilly.
The legal guardian of a 12-year-old girl previously filed a complaint with authorities, which led to a month-long investigation by detectives from the Cranston Police Special Victims Unit and the prosecutors from the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General that began on May 7.
Sources told WJAR that Reilly met a young girl online. The alleged child sex crimes occurred on May 3, according to court records.
The Cranston Police Department said Reilly was charged with first-degree child molestation, second-degree child molestation, and enticement of a person under 16.
On Thursday, Reilly reportedly pleaded not guilty in Kent County District Court.
His attorney, Michael J. Lepizzera, Jr., said in a statement to Law&Crime:
The charges are obviously serious in nature. With these types of charges, I can see the general public and even close friends instantaneously turning their back on Mr. Reilly and drawing knee-jerk conclusions. I simply ask everyone to refrain from public ridicule and gossip and allow the legal process to unfold in the ordinary course. While we may not have a perfect system of justice in this country (as nothing is perfect), my 30 years as a lawyer allows me to state that we have as near perfect judicial system as could exist and we should trust in the system to be the final adjudicator of the facts, the law, and any legal outcome.
District Court Judge Joseph P. Ippolito ordered Reilly held without bail and also ordered him to undergo a competency hearing, according to Cranston police chief Col. Michael J. Winquist.
Reilly is due back in court on June 15.
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