URBANA — A former Mahomet man who admitted he raped a child repeatedly more than a decade ago was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.
“He’s sexually dangerous and should never be around children again,” Judge Tom Difanis said of Gregory Reed, 43, who has been imprisoned since 2012 for other sex-related crimes involving the same victim and other girls.
Reed pleaded guilty a month ago to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for conduct that occurred between January 2006 and July 2011 with a girl who was under the age of 13.
The allegations came to light in 2018, when the victim, now an adult, came forward to Champaign County sheriff’s investigators.
At the time, Reed was serving a 10.5-year prison sentence he received in 2012 for aggravated child pornography for taking photographs of the girl and her friend as they changed clothing after swimming in 2010.
Earlier that same year, Reed had been sentenced to probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse for touching the crotch of another young girl in July 2011.
Champaign County sheriff’s deputies discovered the child pornography as Reed was being investigated for the sex abuse.
When Reed pleaded guilty to the Class X felony last month, Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink agreed to cap her sentencing recommendation at 20 years, which she did with the victim’s knowledge.
To make sure Difanis imposed that sentence, Alferink had Champaign County sheriff’s investigator Tim Beckett testify that besides the victim of the ongoing sex assaults, he interviewed four other girls who were friends of the victim. Each of them made allegations that Reed either touched them inappropriately or talked about sex with them when they were adolescents.
“Regardless of what happens here today, (the victim) will carry this the rest of her life,” Alferink said, referring to the woman’s daily flashbacks and nightmares from the ongoing abuse.
The prosecutor acknowledged that Reed pleaded guilty, has behaved in prison and was himself a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
But Alferink said he was given consideration for that when she agreed to cap her sentencing recommendation at 20 years.
The maximum sentence for the crime he pleaded guilty to is 60 years.
Reed’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Matt Ham, argued for the minimum six years, describing Reed’s tortured childhood at the hands of an abusive father and a mentally ill mother.
Ham noted that Reed held a job for 15 years at Carle Foundation Hospital, that he has helped other inmates in prison complete their GEDs, and that in two prior sex-offender evaluations, he was deemed to be at a “low to moderate risk” to re-offend.
Reed apologized for what he had done to his victim.
“No one can hate me as much as I hate myself,” he said. “Her peace is more important than my freedom.”
“This isn’t who I am anymore. I am not evil,” he added.
Reed will have to serve 85 percent of the 20 years, or another 17 years. However, he was given credit for almost one year already served. He was paroled on the child-pornography sentence in July 2019.