Verdict not yet reached in case of former Goldsboro teacher charged with molesting students at Christian school
A verdict was expected Thursday in the trial of a former teacher accused of molesting two 11-year-old female students at a Christian school in Wayne County in the mid-1990s.Posted — Updated
The trial began in January, and the jury has been considering the case since yesterday. However, on Thursday afternoon the jury had not yet reached a decision. Now, a decision is expected to be reached on Friday.
53-year-old Warren Riley is charged with multiple counts of indecent liberties with a child. On the first day of arguments, one of his alleged victims took the stand to lay out the abuse she claims she suffered.
Riley was arrested in August 2020 and charged with abuse stemming from his time teaching at Faith Christian Academy in Goldsboro.
The trial began with opening statements.
Prosecutors told the jury that Riley groomed the girls over time, singling them out with special attention before escalating his behavior into sexual abuse.
“She’s the one that he has a secret code with,” prosecutor Abbie Ivey said in her opening statement. “A code of, if I clear my throat in a crowd, that means I think you’re pretty.”
“If I rub my eye, that means I love you,” she continued.
Riley’s defense attorneys said their client wasn’t made aware of the allegations for more than 20 years, and has denied them outright.
“It’s our position that once you hear the facts, the actual facts, not the warped facts, that your verdict will be not guilty,” Jackie Houser told the jury.
On Monday afternoon. one of the alleged victims took the stand.
Now a woman in her late 30s, she described how in sixth grade Riley initially singled her out as a kind of teacher’s pet, giving her test answers and showing her extra attention in class.
She told the court that as time passed, Riley began holding her back in the classroom while the rest of the students went to recess.
The woman claimed riley would press his body against her up along a wall while he had an erection, telling her that he wanted to marry her.
She said Riley tried to kiss her on two occasions.
In one instance, the woman claimed she was playing a computer game in the classroom when Riley put his hand into her skirt and touched her.
When asked why she didn’t report the abuse as a child in the 1990s, she became emotional, saying "I felt dirty, I felt shameful, I felt like somehow it would all be my fault."
The jury is expected to reach a verdict on Friday.
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