SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man who’s committed sex crimes in at least four states is now charged with molesting an 8-year-old girl at a farm near Strafford last summer while using an alias. Ronald Reed, 68, fled to Iowa after a detective asked him about the molestation in July. A detective says Reed cut off his hair and beard in Iowa and went to work for a carnival under an assumed name.
Greene County prosecutors charged Reed on Tuesday with first-degree child molestation and sexual misconduct with a child by indecent exposure. They say Reed also is wanted in Colorado on charges of crimes against children, and failed to register as a sex offender in Colorado, Iowa and Missouri. Reed was in the Greene County jail on Tuesday in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
If Reed is convicted, he could face a 30-year prison sentence in Missouri. His past convictions would lengthen the time he would have to serve before being eligible for parole. If he’s ever free, he would be subject to supervision by the Department of Corrections for the rest of his life.
Besides many sex crimes, Reed has also been convicted since 1968 in several states for burglary, trespassing, resisting arrest, using a motor vehicle without permission, illegal possession of narcotics and dangerous drugs, and driving while intoxicated. He’s served time in prison.
The 8-year-old girl is the daughter of a co-worker at a farm where Reed worked from last November until July, according to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges. The girl was visiting the farm and Reed was watching her for a time. The girl told an interviewer that Reed gave her a horse riding lesson with a fake horse and touched her inappropriately, as well as exposed himself to her.
A detective says Reed used the name Stanley E. Willis while working at the farm near Strafford but has used other aliases. Law enforcement officials had to discover his true identity by matching his fingerprints to a criminal database. A detective believes Reed fled to Iowa on a bus within an hour of being asked about the girl’s allegation on July 9.
While living in Greene County, Reed lived across the road from Fair Haven Children’s Home, which houses boys and girls ages 6 to 18. A detective says the managers of that home report three incidents of a peeping Tom since last December. Those crimes are unsolved.