Kent police hold rare public meeting on sex offender

KENT -- Police held an unusual public meeting Thursday night to notify Kent residents that a Level 3 sex offender whose appearance changes occasionally had moved into the city.

The sex offender, Bennett Reedy, said he wasn’t trying to disguise himself. “People look different as they grow older,” he said.

Reedy said he has changed and that he is no longer a danger.

But many at the meeting say they are glad police let them know about the potential threat of a convicted sex offender.

“He has long hair, he’s got a beard, glasses; he could change his look at any time and be a totally different looking person,” said Kent resident Kristina Olson.

“Police recognized there was a difference and wanted to air on the side of caution rather than waiting for something bad to happen,” said fellow resident Kevin Leahy.

Reedy was convicted 20 years ago for raping a woman he met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but authorities said he has shown a pattern of troubling behavior since he has been out of state prison.

“Mental health issues, his refusal to participate in treatment, and an incident that happened just recently in the city of Seattle that caused us to want everybody in the public to be aware,” said a Kent police spokesman of why they held the meeting on Reedy.

“He has the right to be in the community,” said a woman at the meeting.

Reedy lives at a clean and sober house on West Saar Street next to a senior apartment complex. He said he is cooperating with police and hopes to prove he is not a threat.

“This case was 20 years ago,” Reedy said. “They keep dragging me through the mud. This meeting is one more thing.”