A Democrat community leader who would “offer a homily during worship services” and facilitated his congregation’s “opening our doors to all people regardless of sexual orientation” has been given a slap on the hand after pleading guilty to extensive child pornography offenses involving children as young as six.
Andrew Douglas Reed
Authorities say Andrew Douglas Reed, 53, who reported for an abbreviated jail term just a few weeks ago, had pleaded guilty to a page-long list of counts of 2nd-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Court records in the Asheville, N.C., case said he admitted that he would “record, develop and duplicate material containing a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.” That activity is defined by state law as including masturbation, intercourse and “touching – in apparent sexual stimulation or sexual abuse – of the genitals, pubic area or buttocks.”
However, instead of the 967 months in jail – nearly 81 years – for which he was liable, Judge Robert Lewis, another Democrat, gave him, in a plea bargain with the office of District Attorney Ron Moore, who was elected as a Democrat, a 10-12 month sentence.
And even that seemed regrettable, according to a number of letters of recommendation offered by other Democrat leaders of the community to the court on his behalf.
“It has been my pleasure to share Andy’s commitment to ensuring that compassion and democracy are at work across our community,” wrote Beth Lazer, a Democrat who shared Unitarian Universalist church theologies with Reed and serves as the head of the local public access television, URTV.
She said in her letter of reference she first worked with Reed “when we both served on the board of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.”
“What an invaluable board member he was,” she said.
“I also worked with Andy on several projects at our church, most significantly our becoming a welcoming congregation,” she said.
Steve Hagerman, the executive director of the Asheville Symphony, wrote on symphony letterhead that, “Reed has been a long-time supporter of the arts in Western North Carolina and has been involved in many worthwhile causes in our community.”
Graves-Simmons, a Democrat who leads the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville, wrote a page and a half extolling Reed’s virtues.
“When the decision was made in 2001 to incorporate the Association as an independent non-profit organization, Andy was instrumental in making it happen. He wrote the new organization’s by-laws, revised and edited its incorporation papers, and, with me, determined the makeup of its founding board of directors,” Graves-Simmons wrote.
“It was for his ten years of dedicated service that last January the MLK Association honored Andy with the 2005 Community Humanitarian Award,” she wrote.
She noted he’s also served on governing or advisory boards to the Montford Park Players, a theater company that operates each summer.
“Andy has spent all the years that I’ve known him bringing people together regardless of race, creed, color, or other differences, gladly working with anyone and everyone, and doing whatever needs to be done, to accomplish our mutual goals,” she wrote.
His offenses involved a long list of counts that he used the Internet to collect and share graphic child pornography – mostly involving children as young as six who were filmed “engaged in sex acts with adults or other children,” according to a local news report.
State investigators said Reed used an e-mail account to post 169 images and three movies containing child pornography on file-sharing networks over the last several years.
Ken Bagwell, whose “Heads Up America” radio program has delved into the appropriateness of that sentence, said there’s a difference between taking such material from the Internet “and getting your jollies or whatever these sickos do” and actually producing the material.
“You acquire the kid, you abuse the kid on camera, and get a 10-month sentence?” he asked. “I just cannot believe it.”
The offenses – 15 counts – to which Reed pleaded guilty were victimizing “the absolutely youngest most defenseless people out there,” Bagwell told WND. “It just makes me want to gag to see what is happening.”
He said he especially was concerned about civic leaders offering their support for a man who now is part of the state’s “Sex Offender Control Program” and will have to get approval for his residence and is not allowed to “socialize or communicate with individuals under the age of eighteen (18) in work or social activities unless accompanied by a responsible adult who is aware of the abusive patterns and is approved in writing by the supervising officer.”
“We should ask these people, ‘Are you telling me you are supporting this?’” Bagwell said.
WND messages for several of these individuals were not returned immediately.
The court report noted that under the plea agreement, “That defendant will plead guilty to all 15 counts and the state agrees that they will be consolidated into four counts for sentencing.”
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation had worked on a sting for more than a year to stop his operations, authorities said.
Reed, who also worked as a columnist for the Asheville Citizen Times, often wrote in support of the “gay” agenda in the region.
State records show he was brought into the prison system on Nov. 15. And when he gets out, he cannot “linger, loiter nor spend time at locations where persons under eighteen (18) years of age are likely to be present, including but not limited to: parks, playgrounds, school yards, arcades or places frequented by children(s) activities and such similar places whose purpose is the care, entertainment or education of such persons under eighteen (18) years of age.”
He also won’t be allowed to work as a volunteer or employee for any organization that serves children, but he will have to go through psychological treatment and go through a sexual abuse treatment program.
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