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Whitehall man found guilty on three of four felony counts in child sexual assault case
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Whitehall man found guilty on three of four felony counts in child sexual assault case

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FORT EDWARD — The Whitehall man on trial in Washington County Court for the sexual assault of a child was found guilty on Tuesday of three of the four charges, but not the top count of predatory sexual assault.

Kenneth Reed

Reed

A jury convicted 35-year-old Kenneth Reed on charges of aggravated second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, as well as a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

The jury began deliberating on Monday at 2 p.m. and reached its decision late in the afternoon.

The verdict followed a trial that began on May 3. Reed had been arrested in September for an incident that occurred on May 30. Police said he had sexual intercourse with a child younger than 11.

The jury acquitted him on that count, but convicted him on the charges that said he touched the girl’s private parts. Reed caused a cut on her genitalia, which required her to be taken to the hospital.

Reed was acquainted with the victim.

The prosecution had presented evidence that semen was found on the girl’s underwear that contained DNA that matched the genetic profile of Reed or a male relative. Also, medical experts testified that the injury she sustained was not likely to have been caused by a fall.

Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan credited Assistant District Attorney Brandon Rathbun and Robin McNeill, senior victims specialist, for their work on the case, along with the staff at Glens Falls Hospital.

Jordan said the testimony of the medical professionals, including Dr. Brian Nelson and Lorie Carte, a sexual assault nurse examiner, was critical, because of the young age of the victim.

“She’s not going to be able to articulate what happened for a jury,” he said.

The medical professionals were a major reason for the conviction, according to Jordan.

“You realize the compassion they bring and how lucky we are to have that in our community,” he said.

He also thanked the work of the state police laboratory.

Jordan said the jury spent a lot of time going through a lot of technical testimony. The jury asked for readbacks of the testimony of the girl’s mother and the defendant.

Jordan said part of the challenge for jurors in cases such as these is it is hard to come to terms with the fact that people commit these types of heinous crimes against children.

Jordan anticipated that the defense would appeal the case.

“We think the facts were strong,” he said.

Defense attorney Alaina Finan could not be reached for comment.

Reed, a local businessman, was taken into custody immediately after the verdict.

Judge Kelly McKeighan scheduled sentencing for July 11.

Reed faces up to 15 years in prison on the second-degree aggravated sexual abuse charge and up to 7 years on the count of first-degree sexual abuse.

He could have faced up to life in prison if he had been convicted on the top count.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or mgoot@poststar.com.

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