WOODSTOCK – Taking the witness stand on Tuesday, a 23-year old woman told jurors the explicit details of alleged sexual encounters that happened more than 10 years ago between her and her mother’s former boyfriend.
The woman said 53-year-old Thomas G. Reed had fondled and raped her on a frequent basis from 1999 to 2003, when she was between 9 and 13 years old.
Testimony at the trial for the Algonquin man began Tuesday before McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham. Reed is charged with multiple sex crimes and if convicted, he faces at least 15 years in prison.
According to the alleged victim’s testimony, Reed had dated and lived with her mother in McHenry and came into her room while she was asleep to lift the covers and stare at her. The sexual encounters began to escalate, and he began touching the girl’s vagina and eventually raped her, prosecutors said.
“What happened to [the alleged victim] should never happen to any child,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Lenhard said Tuesday during opening statements.
When cross-examined by defense attorney Brian Erwin, Reed’s accuser couldn’t recall the finer details of the alleged assaults, the woman’s timelines were off, and police statements had changed. Erwin argued there was no physical evidence to corroborate her testimony.
The girl first made sex crime allegations against Reed in 2002, and again in 2006. Both times she didn’t tell police the full extent of the abuse, she said. Both times charges were never filed and the investigation stalled.
The girl said she didn’t tell the full truth then because she was scared, embarrassed and the family was financially dependent on Reed, with whom they lived.
She then returned to police in 2012 and told detectives further details about Reed’s alleged sex crimes. These allegations led to Reed being charged in August 2012 by McHenry police.
For the most recent accusations, the alleged victim’s friend told police Reed walked in on the young girls as they were undressing or using the bathroom, though she testified that she never witnessed a sexual encounter between Reed and the girl.
“What you have is a story,” Erwin said. “… In 2012, [the alleged victim] meets with McHenry police. There’s no new evidence, but she has a new story and a new witness – her best friend.”
Testimony later revealed the girl’s mother may have encouraged her daughter not to pursue the matter. The mother – whom the Northwest Herald is not identifying to protect the identity of the alleged victim – said in 2002 that she “decided to handle it herself” and in 2006, said she stopped the investigation.
The trial will resume Wednesday morning with at least one more defense witness before closing arguments.