Kenai man arrested on sexual abuse charges

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the charges against Riley Edwards to those relating to sexual abuse.

A Kenai man was arrested Friday on a range of charges relating to the sexual abuse of a minor.

Riley Edwards, 20, was arrested in Soldotna by Alaska State Troopers after a nearly year-long investigation, according to a trooper dispatch. Troopers in Crown Point got a report of sexual abuse of a minor on Dec. 10, 2014, according to the report, and troopers now say that Edwards had sex and “other sexual contact” with a female minor.

Troopers found pictures of a minor on his cellphone, according to the report. Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Beth Ipsen said in an email the girl is 15 years old.

Edwards is charged with five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of exploitation of a minor and two counts of possessing child pornography. The 10 charges are a mix of class B and class C felonies. Class B felonies carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, while being convicted of a class C felony could result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The incidents are listed in the dispatch as having allegedly occurred over a span of time between October and December of last year. Edwards was arraigned at the Kenai Courthouse on Sunday and his first preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 24.

Ipsen said it is not abnormal for investigations to last a long time before an arrest is made.

“Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a while to investigate cases,” she said.

The investigation is continuing, which Ipsen said is to see if there are any additional victims involved.

Edwards pled guilty to a charge of misconduct involving a controlled substance in January, as well as to a charge of theft equaling less than $250 in July 2014.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsula.com.

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