Man sentenced to life for sexual assault

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A man convicted of a 2001 sexual assault was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.

Circuit Judge Fred Copeland sentenced Ontario Reed, 24, formerly of Malden, Mo., to two consecutive life terms for his May 3 conviction on felony charges of rape and forcible sodomy. Reed's trial was moved to New Madrid from Cape Girardeau on a change of venue.

Reed asserted to the end that the sex was consensual.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said Reed told the judge, "We were just having fun. Now she's running from the truth." Reed did not testify in his defense at the trial, according to Swingle.

Swingle said there was no evidence to support a previous dating relationship between Reed and the victim.

"There is no doubt in my mind that a sexual predator is off the street and is not going to be able to do harm again," Swingle said.

Both the victim and her mother entered victim impact statements Tuesday. Reed's parents also entered a statement that said their son wasn't the monster he had been portrayed to be, according to Swingle.

In the victim's statement, the victim wrote that pizza and flower deliveries and routine repair visits fill her with fear because "allowing a stranger into my home is terrifying."

"I don't trust people," she wrote. "No one should have to live in fear every day. I do live in fear every day."

The victim also reported not being able to use Scotch tape to wrap Christmas presents since the attack. The victim's hands were bound with Scotch tape during the attack, according to police reports.

During the trial, the victim testified that Reed knocked on the door of her second-story apartment in the 600 block of Sycamore Street around 4:15 a.m. Aug. 6, 2001. The victim, who was 21 at the time, said Reed forced his way into her apartment after she opened the door and then raped and sodomized her.

Swingle said the victim reported that Reed demanded her car keys and then dragged her to a maroon car after the attack. The victim had sold her maroon car two weeks earlier, trading it in for a green pickup, according to Swingle.

He said this indicated Reed was watching the victim and the attack was likely premeditated.

Reed was not wearing a mask when he committed the crime, according to Swingle, and he was trying to open the trunk of the maroon car when the victim escaped and began to scream.

"I'm convinced he was going to kill her," Swingle said. "He dropped the keys and neighbors were starting to turn lights on, though, so he fled the scene."

Reed is currently serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery at the Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City.

He had to take a DNA test as part of a 2005 Missouri state law that requires convicted felons to provide DNA samples. The DNA is then compared against evidence in unsolved crimes.

Reed's DNA matched several pieces of DNA evidence found at the scene that linked him to this case, including fingerprints on a water bottle found at the scene and semen found on the victim's bed.

"The thing that's most scary is he completely got away with this for five years," Swingle said. "It makes you wonder if he'd done this before."

pwylie@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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