A former Kenosha County foster parent was charged Monday with sexually assaulting a teenager in his care more than two decades ago, and investigators said additional foster children may have been victimized.
Gary M. Reed, 65, of Manitowoc, was charged with repeated sexual assault of a child. According to the criminal complaint, Reed lived in Twin Lakes and Randall during the time the assaults allegedly occurred.
The criminal complaint states the investigation into Reed began when a now 37-year-old man contacted a detective with the Twin Lakes Police Department, telling the detective he had been sexually assaulted when he was a foster child in the village about 23 years ago. Detectives from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department joined the investigation on Nov. 16.
According to the complaint, the 37-year-old man told detectives he had been in the foster care system and was sent to live with Reed when he was about 13 years old. He lived with Reed until he was about 17½ years old. During that time, according to the complaint, the former foster child told the detective he had been sexually assaulted by Reed many times. “(He) reports that the assaults occurred two to four times a week the entire time he lived with (Reed).”
A second former foster child, now 33, also told police he was assaulted by Reed, but has yet to make a formal statement, according to the criminal complaint. The second former foster child “speculated that approximately 22 other foster children may have been sexually assaulted by the defendant, indicating that the defendant had favorites and gave his ‘favorites’ special privileges and would tell them that he was their last chance in life,” the complaint states.
The now 37-year-old who originally came forward with the accusations said that Reed would tell him that his home was the last place he could stay “and if he didn’t, he would end up in a halfway house or other terrible place.” He would threaten to call his social worker if he did not perform sexual acts, the complaint states. He also said that Reed would bribe him with wine and marijuana.
The Twin Lakes detective “assisted” the former foster child in making a recorded phone call with Reed, according to the complaint. During that call, the complaint states, Reed admitted that he engaged in a sexual relationship with the former foster child.
Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said that if convicted, given Reed’s age, “he is facing perhaps spending the rest of his natural life in prison.”
At Reed’s initial appearance in court Monday, defense attorney Larisa Benitez-Morgan said Reed is disabled, lives on Social Security and has no criminal history.
Information on Reed’s history as a foster parent in Kenosha County was unavailable Monday.
Reed’s bond was set at $100,000.