Mistrials, appeals mark man's history

The lengthy criminal history of Glenn Reed

By Stephen Betts | Feb 27, 2017

The arrest last week of Glenn Reed on a charge that he sexually assaulted a woman is the latest in a 36-year history of sex offenses committed by the now 69-year-old man from Searsmont.

Reed's criminal history includes multiple mistrials, and mixed results for appeals before the state's highest court.

On Monday afternoon, Feb. 27, in West Bath District Court, Judge Beth Dobson ordered Reed held without bail on a probation violation allegation connected to the alleged assault last week. Once Reed hires, or is appointed, an attorney, he can ask another judge to reconsider bail.

Reed's criminal record dates back to 1965. In 1974, he was convicted of breaking into the office of Oasis Hotel on Myrtle Street in Rockland and stealing 26 cartons of cigarettes. He had been living in a room in the hotel and had done carpentry and foundation work for the owner. He appealed that case to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, but his appeal was rejected.

The first sex offense occurred when, at age 33, he was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in Lincolnville who had been walking home from the Center Store along Route 52 on a July evening in 1981. The girl, who was vacationing in Lincolnville, said Reed offered her a ride home. She accepted, but he refused to let her out of his vehicle, drove her to his home in Lincolnville and raped her, according to previously published reports.

The trial ended with a conviction in 1982, but the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturned it in1983 on a 3-2 ruling, saying the trial judge erred by not allowing testimony from Reed that the girl was a voluntary social companion. A second trial that year ended with a deadlocked jury. The third trial ended in 1984 with a conviction. The state's highest court upheld that conviction in an August 1984 ruling and Reed served nearly three years in prison for the rape.

While fighting the rape charge, Reed was charged, and later convicted, of arson for setting a fire to collect insurance money to pay for his legal expenses. He was also convicted of tampering with a witness for arranging for inmates to try to silence a witness in the arson case.

In 1987, shortly after he got out of prison, Reed was charged with three counts of gross sexual misconduct and one count of unlawful sexual contact. Among several reports of assaults, it was alleged he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl while taking her to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport to have casts removed from both her arms.

A Knox County jury convicted Reed of those charges in December 1987. At his sentencing hearing, a woman stood up and claimed the victim was on a telephone and wanted to recant her testimony. The hearing went ahead and Reed was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

His attorney, Sandra Hylander Collier, had asked the court to give Reed a chance. "If you throw away the key, then Glenn Reed will be someone society has given up on," the defense attorney told the court at the 1988 sentencing hearing.

Reed appealed his conviction and was freed on bail 10 months later, pending the ruling on the appeal. In September 1989, a divided Maine Supreme Court overturned the verdict, ruling the trial judge erred by allowing testimony from a child psychologist who told jurors the victim exhibited signs of having been sexually abused by a family member. The justices ruled it was not expert testimony that could be supported by empirical evidence.

District Attorney William Anderson announced in August 1990 that Reed would not be retried because the girl retracted her statements and claimed the assaults did not occur.

In March 2013 Reed was arrested after he sexually assaulted a teenage store clerk in Belfast. He told the girl he was having a bad day and asked for a hug. When the clerk agreed, he groped her and made sexual comments, according to previously published reports.

He was convicted in June of that year for unlawful sexual touching, assault and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to six months in jail and placed on probation for a year.

In December 2014, he was arrested and charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact after a then-14-year-old girl said Reed assaulted her during the summer of 2011 at a trailer in Searsmont after he provided her with marijuana. The girl revealed the assault in an essay she wrote in school.

Reed initially agreed to a police request to take a polygraph test, but on the scheduled day of the test, he canceled, claiming he was having a heart attack. He also claimed he was suffering from dementia and did not recall the girl, according to police.

When he was later indicted, he was charged only with the lesser offense of unlawful sexual contact. Court proceedings on the charge ended in a mistrial when a defense witness mentioned Reed was on the state sex offender registry list. The trial judge had earlier barred any mention of Reed's prior convictions.

The trial was rescheduled for March 2016, but just before the trial was to begin, he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but one year suspended for the unlawful sexual contact charge. He was also placed on probation for three years. A no contest plea results in a conviction.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said Saturday, Feb. 25, the victim had to testify, which was difficult for her, and added that it would have been more horrible if she had to testify again at a second trial. Rushlau said that is how the plea agreement was reached.

Reed's most recent charge came last week. On the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Waldo County Sheriff's Office charged Reed with unlawful sexual touching and arrested him for violating probation.

Police received a complaint earlier in the day from a woman who said Reed touched her in a sexually inappropriate way in a vehicle.

Reed was taken to Waldo County Correctional Center in Belfast and then Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he is being held without bail.

Rushlau said it was too early to say how much time the state would seek if Reed is found to have violated his probation. The standard of proof to find someone violated probation is simply the preponderance of evidence, rather than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard for convicting someone of a new crime.

Reed potentially could serve an additional seven years in prison — the remainder of his initial sentence of eight years — if he is found to have violated his probation for the 2016 conviction. The new charge of unlawful sexual touching could result in a maximum of a year in prison if he is convicted of the offense.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Feb 28, 2017 15:02

You got good advice.

Posted by: Annette M Tolman | Feb 27, 2017 16:42

The court system sure failed a lot of young people on this one.  I remember growing up and being told that this was one person to stay away from.  How many more times does he have to offend before the courts put him away for life?



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