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“Because we were concerned about the welfare of the rest of the family, we agreed that the family could remain there with the exception of Michael Riley.”

attorney Roger Mervis
Dad was evicted
after rape charge

Judge changed housing authority’s orders,
let Riley stay with family


The Patriot Ledger

The Weymouth Housing Authority moved to evict Michael Riley and his family from public housing after Riley was charged in June 2005 with trying to rape a 13-year-old, an attorney for the authority says.

Riley, 34, who is now accused with his wife, Carolyn, of killing their 4-year-old daughter by overmedicating her, had violated a lease provision that bars “criminal activity on the premises,” attorney Roger Mervis said yesterday.

Michael Riley
Michael Riley

The authority filed an eviction notice on July 29, 2005, but officials later allowed Carolyn Riley, 32, and their three children to stay in their apartment on Memorial Drive, according to Quincy District Court documents.

“Because we were concerned about the welfare of the rest of the family, we agreed that the family could remain there with the exception of Michael Riley,” Mervis said.

A district court judge stayed the eviction until Nov. 30 this year on the condition that Riley stay away from the apartment, except in medical emergencies. Riley could apply to return if he was acquitted of the sexual assault charges, documents say.

A Norfolk Superior Court judge in the assault case had issued a different order, allowing Riley to be with his children but forbidding him to have contact with people younger than 18 outside his immediate family.

His trial in that case was scheduled to begin on May 29. The 13-year-old girl, Carolyn Riley’s daughter by a previous relationship, had been given up for adoption by her mother but was visiting the Rileys when Michael Riley allegedly assaulted her.

Riley lived with his mother in Weymouth from December 2005 until late November 2006, when the family moved to Hull and he rejoined them, investigators said.

Rebecca Riley, 4, died in the Hull apartment on Dec. 13. Plymouth County prosecutors say her parents killed her by repeatedly giving her extra doses of clonidine, an adult blood pressure medicine used to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A psychiatrist had diagnosed Rebecca with that mental illness and bipolar disorder when she was 28 months old. Dr. Kayoko Kifuji of Tufts-New England Medical Center prescribed clonidine, the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel and the anti-seizure drug Depakote for the toddler. None have been tested in children but psychiatrists have used them to treat kids.

A medical examiner said Rebecca Riley died of the combination of a fatal level of clonidine as well as Depakote and two over-the-counter cold medicines. Kifuji has agreed to stop practicing temporarily while the Board of Registration in Medicine investigates her treatment of the child.

The Rileys pleaded innocent and are being held without bail. They will return to court March 6.

Reporter Bob Sears contributed to this story.

Sue Reinert may be reached at sreinert@ ledger.com.