Gary Reed was sentenced on June 7 to spend 25 years in prison for sexually abusing the foster children he had in his care.
The charges against Reed began about a year ago, after an adult who was a former foster child in Reed's home went to the police. The adult had been abused as a child by Reed 23 years prior to finally reporting the situation.
The police took the report very seriously and launched an investigation where they were able to record audio of a phone conversation between Reed and a former foster child, where Reed admitted to sexually abusing him.
Once charges were filed against Reed, more victims came forward to report his abuse. Reed was a foster parent for 17 years, from 1992 to 2009. He focused on taking boys in who were in their teenage years because they were the most difficult to place in other foster homes.
Reed pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two of the children that were put in his care, with one of the men writing a letter about Reed. The victim's wife read the letter that stated the then-teenage boy felt he had finally found salvation in Reed's home.
He had been emotionally and physically abused by his father for years before he jumped out of his window and escaped. He was placed in Reed's home where he felt safe for the first time in his life, Kenosha News reports.
The safety gave way to torment and abuse when Reed began sexually assaulting him and threatened that if the teenager told anyone, he would be sent away to a place worse than Reed's home.
The man states that Reed was a father figure to him. The only parental figure he had, and he valued some of the things Reed taught him, but he was also "very damaged by him."
Reed appeared surprised that his actions would have lasting damage and impact the boys' lives as adults. He told the judge he "didn't realize how many people would be affected… I should have gotten help."
Judge Bruce Schroeder told Reed he chose to do evil and victimize "very vulnerable people who had no one else in the world."
He sentenced Reed to 25 years, plus 15 years of extended supervision for one of the cases, and 10 years of supervision to follow in the second case. Schroeder pointed out that Reed would be 90-years-old when he was released from prison.
On the Kenosha News website, where the story was reported, Jen Reed, who says she's the daughter of Gary Reed, wrote a passionate comment of delight that her father received punishment for his crimes.
"Good riddance, DAD – you piece of garbage! Too bad Wisconsin doesn't have the death penalty. You could take things into your own hands though, please do. It disgusts me to share your DNA…."