Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Witness Tampering Alleged

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Witness Tampering Alleged

Article excerpt

INCEST: Suspect accused of asking victim to pin crime on another, also in custody

SARASOTA

A man charged with capital sexual battery and incest allegedly phoned the 14-year-old victim from the Sarasota County jail, asking her to drop the charges against him and pin them on another relative, according to court documents.

Joshua Riley, 22, arrested on July 3, now faces an additional charge of witness tampering.

Another man, Kyle Riley, 25, was arrested Thursday on charges of capital sexual battery and incest involving the same victim.

A detective reviewing Joshua Riley's jail phone records reportedly came across a call made at 12:43 a.m. on July 4 to the girl.

"During this call Riley can be heard several times harassing the victim to drop the charges against him," the detective wrote in an arrest report. "Riley can also be heard telling the victim to put the charges on Kyle. Riley also states that he will never get out unless she drops the charges."

The victim eventually handed the phone over to a man whose name is redacted in court documents. Joshua Riley also allegedly asked the man to have the victim drop the case, the report stated.

A public records request by the Herald-Tribune to obtain an audio recording and/or transcript of that phone call was not immediately granted Thursday.

"It's always a concern of ours that the victim could be harassed or coerced by the defendant, especially in this case where you're looking at a minor victim with familial ties to the defendant," said Amanda Gambert, an assistant state attorney who focuses primarily on capital sexual battery cases.

The Sarasota Police Department has not released the nature of the defendants' relationship, nor their relationship to the victim.

"We're really trying to protect her as much as possible," said police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge.

Detectives opened an investigation after the victim told a friend on June 27 about her sexual involvement with the two men that began when she was 10, a police report stated. …

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