When Richard Reed was indicted by a St. Tammany Parish grand jury last month on charges that include kidnapping and sexual battery, a prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s Office brought up the defendant’s previous arrests in arguing that the judge should set a higher bail.
That statement prompted Reed’s defense attorney to file a motion Tuesday asking for the state to spell out whether it intends to offer evidence of other crimes at the trial.
Reed, the brother of former 22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed, was arrested in August after authorities said he groped an inebriated woman at the Chimes Restaurant and then left with her in the back seat of his car, flashing an honorary district attorney’s investigator badge at officers who stopped him and then trying to get the Covington police to release the woman to him.
The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office because the district attorney ’s Office, under Walter Reed, recused itself. Walter Reed, who is the subject of a federal grand jury probe, did not seek re-election last year.
Richard Reed pleaded not guilty last week before 22nd Judicial District Judge Peter Garcia to charges of sexual battery, second-degree kidnapping, impeding a witness and intimidation of a police officer.
But at his indictment in March, Assistant Attorney General Butch Wilson brought up Reed’s rap sheet in arguing that his bail should be higher. He told Judge August Hand that the defendant had been accused in the past of peering through a woman’s window. A Covington police detective also told the judge that Reed had been involved in previous domestic disturbances.
Whether the state plans to bring up those incidents at Reed’s trial, which is set for June 1, is unclear. But Reed’s legal team is anticipating that move.
“Our office filed (Tuesday’s) motion in response to statements made by the prosecution relative to potential incidents which the state may wish to present at trial,’’ attorney Tara Zeller said in an email. “Mr. Reed is entitled to know the substance of these ancillary allegations well in advance of trial, and the state is obligated to provide evidence of any and all allegations presented.”
The state must advise the defendant in writing and within a reasonable amount of time before the trial of its intention to introduce “other crimes’’ evidence, the motion says.
Reed’s lawyers also filed a motion earlier this month to move his trial out of southeast Louisiana, citing extensive media coverage.
Reed’s previous run-ins with the law include two complaints by women that he was harassing them. One was made by an ex-girlfriend who called police to get Reed to leave her alone; the other was by a woman to whom he had loaned or given furniture. Neither resulted in an arrest.
Reed was arrested in a third incident, an argument at a Covington bar, but the charge of simple battery was dismissed after he met the conditions set by a Covington city judge: that he write an apology and stay out of trouble for six months.
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