Former RHS Teacher Accused of Molestation

Zoe Moser, Editor-In-Chief

Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) arrested former RHS staff member 63 year-old Michael John Riley of Walkersville, Md. on charges of sexual abuse from the 1980s.

Riley was charged with child abuse by a custodian, school molestation on premises and school molestation by staff, according to a May 2 Bethesda Beat article. A former RHS student of Riley’s alerted police of what she described as repeated sexual encounters with him as a 16 year-old high schooler during the 1984-85 school year, all of which occured at RHS.

Riley was hired by MCPS in 1979, and worked at RHS from 1981 to 1989. He also worked at Richard Montgomery HS and was athletic director at Poolesville HS and Clarksburg HS, according to Bethesda Beat. Riley retired from MCPS in 2010 and took up a job as director of athletics and summer programs at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) where he worked prior to his arrest.

When CESJDS learned of the allegations, Riley was placed on leave.

In a May 1 letter sent home to parents of CESJDS students, head of school Rabbi Mitchel Malkus alerted them to the charges and arrest.

“We have no reason to believe that Mr. Riley engaged in any inappropriate conduct at CESJDS,” Malkus said. “We will be meeting with students in the coming days to reaffirm in an age-appropriate manner both our commitment to their safety, and the reporting and counseling resources available to them in difficult moments.”