By: Collin Hall and Taylor Bradford
News Editor and Contributor
Bert Reed, 42, a Gordon College Physical Plant employee, was arrested April 20 in Newburyport and charged with child rape and possession of child pornography.
The former Newburyport city councilor and School Committee member was charged with three counts of rape and abuse of a child under the age of 16, enticement of a child under 16, disseminating of matter harmful to minors and possession of child pornography.
A college-wide email was sent out April 23 by Gordon College spokesperson Rick Sweeney, stating, “We were shocked and deeply troubled to learn of these allegations, which came to our attention late Sunday. The College has not been contacted by the authorities.” The specific allegations were not mentioned in said email.
Sweeney made it clear that the allegations have nothing to do with Gordon itself, although Reed was an active employee at the time of the alleged rape.
Reed’s employment at the college has been suspended, according to the email from Sweeney.
Prosecutors say that the alleged rape took place between June 15 and Sept. 3. Reed was accused of “enticing an underage victim he met over the internet for sex,” City Marshal Mark Murray said in a statement.
According to WCVB, the investigation of Reed, run by the Newburyport Police Detectives and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, began after the victim’s parents contacted police this month.
Reed’s arraignment took place on April 23 at Newburyport District Court. At the hearing, the former Gordon employee was ordered held without bail.
The Boston Globe reported that Reed is expected back in the Newburyport District Court for a dangerous hearing on May 5.