Following his conviction for pressuring an underage victim into silence from a Port Coquitlam jail, a sexual offender has been handed a 38 month sentence in B.C. Supreme Court.
Richard Charles Reed pled guilty to sexual interference with a minor and resisting arrest on Jan. 11, 2023. Justice Jeanne Watchuk sentenced Reed on April 6.
“The harm is profound, far-reaching, and ongoing,” Watchuk said. “Sexual violence against children that is committed on multiple occasions and for longer periods of time should attract significantly higher sentences … I conclude that a total sentence of 38 months jail is not unduly long or harsh.”
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Reed has been in police custody since his arrest on Jan. 2, 2021.
The victim, identified as A.B. in court documents, was 14-years old when the sexual relationship began in February 2020. Reed, who was 22-years old at the time, was aware of her age.
Following a series of arguments at Reed’s Vancouver apartment in December, 2020, the victim contacted police.
A.B. consented to vaginal swabs at Vancouver General Hospital, which were submitted to the RCMP lab. An arrest warrant was issued for Reed on Dec. 31.
Reed’s location was tracked through his cellphone. When confronted by police, he attempted to evade capture on foot for several blocks. The chase ended after Reed was shot several times with rubber bullets.
A cellphone was seized from Reed, which contained lewd images and videos of A.B., including sexual acts.
DNA samples obtained from Reed following his arrest matched the samples taken from A.B.’s exams.
Reed has a lengthy criminal record, dating to 2016 when he turned 18-year old. He has breached court orders 17 times, been convicted on four counts of assault, once for robbery with an imitation firearm, four counts for willfully resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer, four counts of uttering threats, and once for attempted obstruction of justice.
His latest convictions stem from his communications from North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, and are directly related to his sexual offence charges.
Reed called his friends to tell them to pressure A.B. to not cooperate with police and prosecutors, offering her financial bribes.
He also admitted to making threats toward A.B. while speaking with these friends.
Reed was also found to have made threats against Crown Counsel Jennifer Dyck, who was prosecuting the case.
For breaking a non-communication order with A.B., attempted obstruction of justice, and uttering threats, Reed was given a 15 month global sentence plus three years probation on Oct. 22, 2022.
A victim impact statement by A.B.’s mother was described as “compelling” by the judge.
She said that A.B. was a straight A student before Reed’s offences, and now she had stopped attending school and will not graduate with her peers.
The family is now suffering from emotional and financial stress, according to the statement.
As a result of the offences, the mother described herself as “broken and angry, and suffering from lack of sleep, bouts of crying, and other physical symptoms of stress from seeing the harm suffered by her beloved daughter.”
The mother said the harm was made worse by Reed’s contact and threats towards A.B. while he was in custody, along with him breaching a publication ban.
“This will no doubt have a permanent negative impact on her life,” the judge concluded.
Reed also made a statement to the court, apologizing repeatedly to the family for the trauma he caused, stating he is “disgusted with himself.”
He added that he had grown since his arrest, and takes all programs available while in custody.
Reed’s personal history was described to the court. He was placed in foster care at the age of nine due to physical abuse under his mother, and he has minimal contact with his father.
He said he takes responsibility for his past criminal actions, but he has struggled with peer pressure, drug use, and mental health issues in the past.
Crown prosecutors were seeking three years for sexual interference with a minor, while the defence asked for sentence in the two-year range.
While the judge acknowledged Reed’s guilty plea and show of remorse as mitigating factors, she sided with the prosecution regarding sentencing.
Aggravating factors included Reed’s continuous and extensive criminal record, including breaking of three probation orders at the time of the offences, and that the relationship occurred over many months.
Furthermore, possession of images of A.B.’s sexual exploitation on his cell phone showed a “brazen disregard for the wrongfulness of having sex with a child as an adult male,” the judge wrote.
He added it could lead to greater victimization if the images ended up on the internet.
“This duration and degree of sexual interference goes to both the gravity of the offence and Mr. Reed’s degree of moral blameworthiness.”
By the date of his sentencing, Reed has been in custody for 27 months. The judge ordered that credit be given for 25.5 months of time served, leaving just over a year left on Reed’s sentence.
Reed has been ordered to produce a DNA sample, register as a sex offender, and has been prohibited from possessing a weapon for 10 years following his release, as well as a lifetime ban on possessing prohibited or restricted weapons.