High School Coach’s Husband Charged With Child Sex Grooming And Husband’s Dad Charged In Unrelated Case With Child Sex Abuse


TEXARKANA, Texas–Texarkana, Texas, police have charged a Texarkana, Arkansas, man with child grooming in connection with sexually suggestive messages he allegedly sent young girls he was giving batting lessons to while his wife was working at a local high school as a softball coach.

Matthew Lynn Riddle, 35, allegedly sent a 14-year-old girl, who lives in Texarkana, Texas, a number of sexually oriented messages and videos from early December to mid-January which were meant to ease her into feeling comfortable with a sexual relationship, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Riddle’s wife “was” a softball coach for Arkansas High School in Texarkana, Ark. at the time the alleged grooming occurred and Riddle had become acquainted with the girl through his wife, according to the affidavit. Arkansas High staff listings did not include Riddle’s wife’s name on Friday.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Texarkana Texas Police Dept. states that Riddle was sending inappropriate messages to “several girls” and booking records show he was arrested for two counts of child grooming.

Riddle’s arrest marks the first time a law enacted last year by the Texas Legislature has been applied to a Texarkana suspect, the police department statement said. If convicted, Riddle faces two to ten years in prison on each count.

The messages chronicled in the affidavit related to Riddle’s alleged grooming of the 14-year-old include numerous references to the length of her shorts, her bathing habits and underwear.

“All these messages reveal that Riddle is looking at her more than as a student of his hitting lessons,” the affidavit said. “He is relaying to her that he is seeing her body and is desiring to see more of her body.”

In one message, Riddle allegedly asked the girl not to tell anyone that he sent her a social media video of a woman listening to music with profane lyrics that refer to sexual activity.

“This short video was used to make the victim more comfortable in talking about sex with Riddle,” the affidavit said. “Riddle also asked her to keep a secret, which is a common tactic used by pedophiles to gain trust with victims. This video was obscene, and Riddle was reckless about whether the victim or her parents would be offended by it.”

In an odd turn of events, Matthew Riddle’s father, Richard Lynn Riddle, 56, has been indicted by a Bowie County grand jury for three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14.

The indictments allege that Richard Riddle used his genitals, mouth and fingers to sexually assault a child in the period beginning Jan. 1, 1999, to Dec. 31, 2002.

Richard Riddle was indicted March 7 and arrested March 12, the same day Matthew Riddle was arrested. Both Richard Riddle and Matthew Riddle were released Friday. Matthew Riddle posted bonds totaling $200,000 and Richard Riddle posted bonds totaling $300,000.

The cases of both men have been assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp is representing the state in the matters.

The Bowie County Public Defender’s Office has entered a notice of appearance in Matthew Riddle’s case. An attorney of record for Richard Riddle was not listed Friday.

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