East Naples Priest Cleared of Sexual Abuse Charges

By Sophie Nielsen-Kolding
July 13, 2015

A priest accused of sexually abusing a child 30 years ago has been cleared and could return to his East Naples church.

The Diocese of Venice tells NBC2 that an investigation done by another district found the allegation against Father Leo Riley couldn't be substantiated.

Last year, a man came forward with accusations Riley sexually abused him in the 1980s, when Riley worked in Iowa.

Following the allegation, Riley was placed on administrative leave from St. Peter Parishioners Church in East Naples.

Parishioners have fond memories of Riley.

"I liked his personality. He was very friendly and nice," said Danielle Doreus.

Dating back to 1985, the accusations were investigated by the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa. The Diocese of Venice said today "the results of the investigation did not substantiate an allegation against Reverend Riley that allegedly occurred in 1985."

Riley's attorney, Guy Cook, tells NBC2 Riley has vigorously denied the charges from the start, and Cook claims Riley has a spotless record.

"He voluntarily consented to a polygraph exam conducted by the a former FBI polygraph examiner and passed the test without question," Cook said.

In a phone interview with NBC2, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, questioned the validity of the churches' investigation.

"Very few child sex abuse allegations against priests prove to be false," David Clohessy said. "This is not a step that anyone takes lightly."

The Diocese of Venice says a review board still has to decide where the reverend will go from here.

Some parishioners hope he returns to his East Naples church.

"We'll see him come back," said Daristin Doreus.








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