Stanton man pleads no contest in connection with sexual abuse of three minors | Select | #childabuse | #children | #kids

STANTON — A Stanton man could face up to 11 years in prison after he was convicted of three charges related to sexual abuse of three minors between 1999 and 2007. 

Adam Reese, 35, pleaded no contest on Monday to two counts of felony child abuse and one count of third-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. He had previously been charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of child abuse. 

In exchange for Reese’s pleas, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, represented by William Tangeman, agreed to not file any additional charges against Reese related to his past sexual behavior. Additionally, Tangeman said prosecutors would not make a specific recommendation at sentencing but will ask for “the appropriate sentence.”

Each child abuse conviction carries a punishment of up to 5 years in prison, while the sexual assault charge carries a maximum of a year. 

When Nebraska passed LB 605 in 2015, a bill aimed at slowing Nebraska’s prison population growth, reducing recidivism and increasing public safety, among other objectives, the maximum punishments for several felony and misdemeanor charges were made less severe. 

The maximum punishment for Class 3A felonies — the classification of Reese’s child abuse convictions — had carried a maximum of 5 years in prison but was reduced to 3 years as part of LB 605. As part of the plea agreement in Reese’s case, attorneys agreed that Reese’s convictions would carry the possible penalties that existed prior to LB 605’s passing. 

Reese’s convictions follow an investigation by the Stanton County Sheriff’s Office that began in 2018.

In a May 2018 interview with an employee at the Northeast Nebraska Child Advocacy Center, a girl said she was sexually assaulted by Reese during the summer months of 2003, when she was 3 to 4 years old. Reese was 16 years old at the time.

The girl had said that she was digitally penetrated by Reese five to seven times between the ages of 3 and 5, when Reese was 16 to 18 years old. An affidavit indicates that the sexual assaults occurred at an in-home daycare in Stanton.

Tangeman said that a medical examination at the time revealed that the girl had sustained injuries consistent with being sexually assaulted. 

When the girl was 10 or 11 years old, she said, she learned that Reese had been involved in a separate sexual assault for which he was convicted and sentenced to prison. The girl said she was afraid at the time to come forward with allegations against Reese.

In April 2018, the victim said she had been experiencing emotional issues and told a family member what Reese had done to her, prompting an investigation. 

During an investigation into the girl’s allegations against Reese, a Stanton County sheriff’s deputy learned that a boy made allegations of sexual assault against Reese in 2011, when the boy was 16.

The second victim said that Reese sexually assaulted him on several occasions from 1999 to 2003, a period of time in which the victim was 4 to 7 years old and Reese was 13 to 16 years old. 

The boy told a forensic interview specialist that Reese would ask him to come play video games in the basement at Reese’s home. It was learned through the interview that Reese performed sex acts on the boy at least 10 times.

Reese encountered the second victim and his father outside a Stanton business sometime within the past five years, according to the affidavit. Reese apparently apologized to the second victim, then in his early 20s, and the father for what had happened several years earlier.

A third victim was sexually assaulted by Reese between 2003 and 2005. Reese, then 16 to 18 years old, had taken the boy, then 8 to 10 years old, down to his bedroom and subjected him to sexual contact, according to Tangeman. 

Charges against Reese were filed by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office toward the end of 2019, and Reese posted 10% of a $50,000 bond shortly thereafter and has remained out of jail since.

While Reese’s case has been pending, his attorneys, Doug and Nate Stratton, have filed separate motions to have Reese’s case transferred to juvenile court and for his charges to be dismissed altogether. District Judge James Kube denied both defense motions. 

After Reese’s pleas, Kube ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Monday, Jan. 9. 

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