WHITEHALL — Opening statements took place on Tuesday in the trial of a Whitehall man who police said had sexual intercourse with a child younger than 13.
Kenneth Reed, 35, of county Route 12, faces charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, a felony, and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
Reed was arrested on Sept. 1 following a joint investigation between the Washington County Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Unit and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said the incident took place on May 30 and Reed was acquainted with the victim.
Assistant District Attorney Brandon Rathbun called the first witness to the stand — Dr. Brian Nelson — who testified that the child’s mother brought her to Glens Falls Hospital after seeing blood from the victim.
The day ended before defense attorney Alaina Finan could begin cross-examination.
Earlier, during her opening statements, she said that the police work was sloppy. Investigators jumped to conclusions and did not consider other suspects, she said, adding that the victim provided inconsistent statements.
“This case is not as straightforward or as open and shut as the government would like you to believe,” she said.
The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It is expected to last about two weeks.
Reed faces up to life in prison if convicted. The minimum sentence is 10 to 20 years in prison.
Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said this is the first trial in Washington County Court since trials were paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trials were suspended in November because of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
In at least one other case, a suspect took a plea deal before the trial was scheduled to start.
Masks are required to be worn. There are also plexiglass barriers in front of the judges and attorneys and everyone is socially distanced. The jury is sitting in the main audience area instead of the jury box.
Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or email@example.com.