Police said John C. Riley, 41, of Milton, took advantage of his position to sexually assault a man in November. Riley worked for a company called Living Innovations, where police said he had contact with the victim.
"The victim in this case is a 35-year-old man who has the mental ability of an 8-year-old," said Portsmouth police prosecutor Dave Colby. "This was not a random act. The state feels the victim in this case was groomed for a period of time before the act took place."
According to court documents, investigators said that while Riley was driving the man home on Nov. 2, he sexually assaulted the man in the parking lot of a Portsmouth business. Riley was charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, kidnapping and indecent exposure.
"Mr. Riley would have had contact with the victim through his employment, which again is a service that provides services to the developmentally disabled," said Capt. Mike Schwartz.
Riley was honored last year as the direct support professional of the year, according to media reports. Officials at Living Innovations said they are shocked by the situation and are working closely with police.
In court Friday, prosecutors said the investigation is ongoing.
"The defendant does not have a motor vehicle history or a criminal history that the state can find," Colby said. "However, he has worked with the mentally handicapped for a period of time. As a matter of fact, he was worker of the year last year, and the state has concerns that there are other potential victims out there at this time."
The prosecutor called Riley a danger to himself and the community. His bail was set at $30,000.