Social worker from Maple Grove guilty of sex with a client

A Maple Grove woman, who worked as a Hennepin County social worker, pleaded guilty to a count of criminal sexual conduct Tuesday, May 29, for having sex with a client.

Shannon Kathleen Riley, 40, agreed to plead guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and a second count was dropped. She was to be sentenced June 4 by Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel Moreno and is expected to receive a year and a day in prison and 10 years of supervised release, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Riley was fired from Hennepin County shortly after the allegations surfaced last year.

"This kind of conduct upon a person entrusted to her care is simply unacceptable," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. "We expect more from our public employees, especially those entrusted with the treatment and care of our vulnerable adults. When they violate the public trust, they must pay a serious price."

Riley was assigned to work with an adult man who had a history of chemical dependency and past sexual abuse and also has recurring health problems. In early 2011, Riley drove him to a medical appointment as part of her duties. Afterward, she drove him to a park and engaged in sex with him, Riley admitted in court Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Riley’s conduct continued for several weeks before she was caught and the man suffered physical and chemical health setbacks because of Riley’s actions.