SARANAC LAKE - Twin Crystal Rock Shop co-owner Kean Riley has admitted that he spanked a 12-year-old boy at his business last year; however, a forcible touching charge against Riley has been dropped.
Riley, 50, of Saranac Lake, appeared before Tupper Lake village Justice Leonard Young on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution. Riley is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 7, according to Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Domenica Padula.
"We expect him to get three years of probation with substance abuse evaluation and follow-up treatment recommendations, a fine in the court's discretion, a stay-away order of protection for the 12-year-old and a condition of probation that he is to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18," Padula said.
Riley was arrested by village police in November 2011 and charged with two misdemeanors: forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The case stems from an incident that allegedly took place in the Broadway rock shop, which Riley co-owns with his identical twin brother Kasey and which has been a popular spot for many children to hang out. Police said Riley picked the boy up, put him over his shoulder, pulled down his pants and spanked his bare buttocks.
After his initial court appearance, Riley told the Enterprise that wasn't what happened. He claimed the boy - who was working in the shop as an apprentice, learning how to cut stones - made up the story to get revenge after Riley disciplined him verbally for bad behavior.
In accepting the plea agreement, Riley admitted to the details of the endangering charge, namely "that he intentionally exposed the buttocks of a 12-year-old child and knowingly struck him in a manner that was likely to be injurious to his physical, mental or moral welfare," Padula said.
"We're happy that Mr. Riley took responsibility for his actions," she said.
Riley's attorney, James Brooks of Lake Placid, declined to say much about the case because Riley's sentencing is still pending.
"He had some choices, and he made a choice, and that's where I'll leave it," Brooks said.
The case was initially brought before village of Saranac Lake Justice Kenneth McLaughlin, but he recused himself because he serves on the bench with Riley's father, town of Harrietstown Justice Howard Riley, who is also an Enterprise columnist. The matter was later transferred to Judge Young in Tupper Lake. Padula served as a special prosecutor in the case because of a similar conflict with the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.