Popular northeast independent wrestler James “Rude Boy” Riley was arrested for alleged possession of child pornography at his Staten Island, New York, home on Wednesday, as first reported by the New York Post.
Riley, 25, was taken into custody after police found the pornographic content on his personal computer and iPhone, according to the report. The graphic images — which were uploaded to various social media accounts beginning in 2014 — included children under the age of 16, some of which were infants, the Post indicated through a criminal complaint.
He reportedly confirmed that he was in possession of the photographs on Wednesday, according to Staten Island assistant district attorney Josh Freeman.
“The defendant admitted in some substance that he possessed the photographs,” Freeman said in court on Wednesday. “He uploaded the images to Google and Tumblr and posted them on Tumblr.”
Police reportedly found 20 pictures on his phone; investigators later alleged that nine photographs were uploaded to Riley’s Google account in 2014 and an additional photograph surfaced on his Tumblr account two years later via SI Live.
Riley was arraigned and released from jail on $3,500 bail.
All of Riley’s social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, have been deactivated.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound grappler is being charged with 10 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and 20 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.
Federations associated with Riley swiftly distanced themselves from him after the news broke. Tier 1 Wrestling, where Riley was a former a heavyweight champion, severed all ties and vowed to find a replacement for their April 23 show, True Will.
Five Borough Wrestling, a company Riley had not wrestled for in over a year, issued a statement amid ties to the now disgraced wrestler.
Through several media outlets, it has come to our attention that James “Rude Boy” Riley was arrested today on charges related to child pornography. We further understand that the news sources have implied that Riley was currently affiliated with Five Borough Wrestling. At this time, we would like to make clear that James Riley had not wrestled for our company in over a year, nor was he scheduled to wrestle at any of our upcoming events. Furthermore, Five Borough Wrestling had no knowledge or indication, whatsoever, at anytime, of any of the illegal activities that Riley has been charged with. We, as a company and as individuals, stand strongly against any and all behavior that results in the harm of a child. There is no place in our organization for anyone associated with child pornography, not now, not ever. We will remain adamantly opposed to all such activities and will make no further statements relative to this case.
Warriors of Wrestling, based in Riley’s hometown of Staten Island, also issued a statement.
“Warriors of Wrestling, as well as all of our separate brands and affiliates, have officially severed ties with James ‘Rude Boy’ Riley. He will not appear on any future events.”
Riley had been with W.O.W. since he was 16-years-old, starting as a referee and eventually becoming the company’s heavyweight champion in 2015. He began his training at Gleason’s Gym with WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz in Brooklyn, New York, before Riley joined several friends at W.O.W.
Nearly a decade into his career, Riley attended a WWE tryout this past February with several top names around the wrestling world. Riley has indicated that landing a contract with WWE or any major promotion is a priority but now he faces possible jail time.
Aside from wrestling, Riley was also an employee of Orangetheory Fitness in Staten Island as a personal trainer. However, just like all the promotions Riley worked for, he was terminated and a statement was issued by the company.
“Orangetheory Fitness is shocked and appalled by the arrest of one of its franchisee’s employees in Staten Island, NY. Upon learning of the arrest, the franchisee immediately terminated the employee. Franchisees are required to conduct background and reference checks prior to hiring all coaches, and, in this case, the franchisee did conduct a background check upon hiring the employee and no prior incidents were discovered. The franchisee in Staten Island is fully cooperating with authorities.”
Coincidentally, Riley’s scheduled opponent at yesterday’s Punk Rock Wrestling event, Colby Corino, was also arrested Wednesday in Florida for shoplifting, per Pro Wrestling Sheet.
[Featured Image by Mark Suleymanov]