Matthew Reilly: Former Republican Rhode Island Councilman Charged with Child Molestation Weeks After Drug Bust

Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly (left) and a still from the bodycam footage of his May 15 arrest for drug possession. Twitter

A former Cranston City councilman was held without bail on Thursday after he was charged with multiple counts of child molestation.

A complaint filed against Matthew Reily, 41, by the legal guardian of a 12-year-old girl sparked a month-long investigation into the former Republican councilman, leading to his arrest in North Kingstown, said Cranston's police chief, Col. Michael J. Winquist.

What Has Reilly been Charged with?

Cranston police detectives and investigators from the attorney general's special victims unit arrested Reilly on Thursday morning with assistance from North Kingstown police, Winquist said, adding that the Cranston resident was taken into custody without incident.

Cranston police charged Reilly with first-degree child molestation, second-degree child molestation and enticing a person younger than 16, Winquist said. Reilly is accused of crimes that allegedly took place on May 3, according to court records.

Reilly's attorney, Michael J. Lepizzera, Jr., told The Daily Beast on Thursday evening that Reilly entered a not guilty plea to the molestation charges.

"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," Lepizzera said in an email. "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."

Reilly's Drug Bust

Reilly was previously arrested on May 15 after a a passerby thought they spotted the first-term councilman, lawyer, and youth soccer coach choking in a parking lot. When police arrived, they found him passed out in his vehicle with drug paraphernalia and a "white, rock-like substance" containing crack cocaine and fentanyl.

In bodycam video from Reilly's previous drug arrest, he at first denied having any drugs on him, then admitted having purchased $100 worth of crack the day before. "It was a relapse," Reilly told officers, noting that he was going through a "really bad divorce." "I've been clean for 13 years."

Reilly was charged with possession of a controlled substance about a week into the child molestation investigation, on May 15, and he later resigned from his City Council seat. Reilly, who was also a lawyer, lost his law license following his May arrest.

Until his arrest and subsequent resignation, Reilly had been in his first term on the City Council, representing Ward 6.