Former Camden mayor, youth pastor indicted on sexual battery charge

By Megan Kennedy mkennedy@civitasmedia.com

June 10, 2014

Kevin William Reed, 35, of Eaton has been indicted in the Preble County Common Pleas Court on one count of sexual battery of a minor for actions which took place in part at the Higher Heights Church in Camden, according to a Camden police report.

Reed is a former Camden Village Council member, and was briefly mayor of the village.

The official indictment claims Reed, on or between July 1, 2013 and Aug. 30, 2013, engaged in “sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the offender, when the other person is a minor, the offender is a cleric, and the other person is a member of, or attends, the church or congregation served by the cleric.”

At the time of the alleged offense, Reed was working as a youth minister with the Higher Heights Church of God in Camden. The victim, at the time of the alleged offense, was 17 years old and regularly attended youth ministry meetings at the church where she met Reed, according to Preble County court documents.

Reed would send the victim messages via Facebook, email, text message, and written letters and poems, records indicate. Nude photos were also allegedly sent to the victim from Reed, and from the victim to Reed, according to a police report prepared by Camden Officer Matthew Spurlock.

“[The victim] stated that during this time Reed and her would communicate through email, text messages and over the telephone. [The victim] stated that Reed and her would talk about getting married and that they loved each other. [The victim] stated that Reed had supplied her with her cell phone so the two could keep in contact,” the official incident report from the Camden Police Department notes.

The first alleged sexual contact occurred in the church kitchen, in July, Spurlock’s report says the victim claimed. Other contact between the two occurred in a vehicle when the victim would receive a ride from Reed to and from a meeting at the church.

Court documents state Reed had promised the victim “he would divorce his wife and marry her” and he would “be honored to call [her] wife.” Reed allegedly told the victim if she told anyone of their relationship, he had “friends in high places” from his time served as the Mayor of Camden.

According to reports, the pastor of Higher Heights Church stated that Kevin Reed was voted in as the Youth Pastor after just being with the church for a short time.

“Kevin was allowed this position due to holding the Youth Pastor position at several area churches,” reports noted. The position was unpaid. Reed did not have credentials for the position; the church however had plans to help him earn those credentials, according to officials.

“The church did have an Alcohol Anonymous meeting,” according to official documents. The meeting was led by Reed after the previous person in the position was unable to continue running the meetings, documents state.

“The AA meeting was a class which was approved by the church. The pastor stated that [the victim] was Kevin’s assistant during these meetings. The pastor stated that the church was aware that she was assisting and did not have a reason to question her involvement,” a narrative in the police report explains.

Following the allegations made in the case, Reed has since resigned from his position as Youth Pastor. Reed has pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

Reed’s short-lived term as the Mayor of Camden was surrounded by controversy prior to his election into the position in the fall of 2011. Allegations against Reed included fraud, theft, and embezzlement. While neighboring West Alexandria’s Police Department was conducting their investigation, Reed stepped down from his mayoral seat. Calls made to the WAPD regarding updates on the investigation had not been returned at press time.

A jury trial in the case has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 14, in Preble County Common Pleas Court.