Nevada Man Convicted in Michigan
Riley Patrick Lively, a 27-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, was recently convicted in the US District Court on federal child sexual exploitation charges. It took the jury less than one hour of deliberations to convict him.
His charge is the result of an investigation into the life of Robert Norwood-Charlier, a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Apparently Lively and a friend of his, Bryon Quackenbush, traveled up to Kalamazoo to visit Norwood-Charlier, who photographed Lively while he sexually assaulted a 9-year-old boy. Norwood-Charlier then later distributed these images to others.
Investigators discovered Lively’s participation in the crime while investigating Norwood-Charlier, who later pled guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of minors and distributing images of minors. Lively was then arrested in Las Vegas and held until the time of his trial.
During his trial Lively claimed to have been innocent of wrongdoing, on the grounds that he was under the influence of “mind control” and was therefore not able to make decisions on his own. He also claimed that the images that contained his abuse of the boy were fake.
While being under the influence of mind control may seem a strange defense in this instance, FBI records did show that Lively, Quackenbush, and Norwood-Charlier all believed themselves to be part of a group of mentalists claiming to have powers that allowed them to control other’s minds. Internet chat history showed that Lively believed that he was traveling to Kalamazoo to be initiated into the group.
Lively has yet to be sentenced, and his sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court. He will be appearing before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker and, based on the federal sentencing guidelines for the crime he has been convicted of, he will spend a minimum of 15 years behind bars.
One of the hardest crimes to address is that of child sex abuse. It is devastating to the victims and their families, and leaves lasting scars that cause life-long damage. The simple act of talking about the crime itself causes visceral reactions in many people, and evokes very strong emotional reactions.
As defense attorneys, we walk a fine line in our profession – trying to maintain the honesty of our human emotions, while still honoring and respecting the legal rights of every client we defend. We are people. And as people, we would never condone this crime, and we mourn for the victims who are damaged by it. But in this light we also also acknowledge that, however heinous the accusation, our clients are people too, and they deserve respect, justice and human kindness.