Ex-Boy Scout leader sentenced to 2 years ‘specialized sex offender probation’

Plea agreement: Kane prosecutors reduced felony grooming charges to misdemeanor

Richard J. Reynolds was charged with two counts of felony grooming of a child younger than 17 and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A former Boy Scout leader and former Catholic school teacher from Rockford who was charged last year with two counts of felony grooming of a Kane County child was sentenced to two years of specialized sex offender probation, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced in a news release.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Richard J. Reynolds, 57, of the 400 block of Logan Street, Rockford pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of attempted grooming, a misdemeanor. Kane County Judge John Barsanti accepted the plea March 9.

Reynolds had also been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

The terms of specialized sex offender probation include counseling, maintaining daily activity logs, polygraph testing and adhering to a curfew, the release stated.

Reynolds is prohibited from possessing sexually explicit materials, visiting pornographic websites, contacting the victim and having unsupervised contact with any child 17 years old or younger, according to the release.

In addition, Reynolds must register for 10 years as a sexual offender in accordance with the Illinois Sexual Offender Registration Act.

Assistant State’s Attorney Morgan Wilkinson stated in court that between September 2019 and March 2021, Reynolds sent direct messages via a social media application to the victim, according to the release.

In the messages, Reynolds had asked the victim to perform sexual acts, make a photographic record of the acts and share the photographs with him, the release stated.

The victim, who was younger than 17 years old at the time, knew Reynolds through his association with Boy Scouts of America. At the time, Reynolds was on the Blackhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and a co-director of Canyon Camp, a Boy Scouts of America camp near Stockton.

Kane County is not part of the Blackhawk Area Council, but Reynolds was charged in Kane County because the victim received the social media messages at his home in Kane County, the release stated.

Wilkinson stated in the release that, “Mr. Reynolds used his position of trust and authority in the Boy Scouts of America to prey on this victim, which is a nightmare for every parent.”

“My thanks to this victim’s friends, who advocated on his behalf to make sure Mr. Reynolds is held accountable Thanks also to Kane County Child Advocacy Investigator Beth Mullarkey and CAC advocates Dawn Vogelsberg and Julie Pohlman,” Wilkinson stated in the release.

Reynolds had initially faced one to three years in prison on both counts if he had been convicted of the felony charges.

Reynolds’ attorney did not immediately return a voice mail message seeking comment.