Former Youth Worker Pleads Innocent

Monday, July 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A former church youth worker accused of molesting children pleaded innocent Monday to a 122-count indictment.

Christopher Reardon, 28, stood quietly in Salem Superior Court as his lawyer John Andrews entered the plea on the charges ranging from rape of a child to posing a child nude.

Judge Nancy Merrick ordered Reardon held without bail.

The accusations against Reardon have shaken his hometown of Middleton, where Reardon led youth activities at St. Agnes Church. Reardon was also camp coordinator at the YMCA day camp in nearby Danvers, a volunteer with the local Boy Scouts and part time youth minister at St. Rose of Lima Church in Topsfield.

Prosecutors say Reardon brazenly abused the community's trust, bringing some of his victims into the St. Agnes Church rectory, where he videotaped sexual acts with children through a hole in his office ceiling.

The indictment listed 29 victims, 14 of whom Reardon is accused of sexually assaulting.

Reardon was arrested after police questioned him while preparations were being made for a church cookout on June 10.

During a subsequent search of Reardon's home and car, police recovered pornographic materials, sex dolls, semen samples he'd saved in cups and a list with the names of more than 200 children and descriptions of their genitals.

On June 26, Reardon was ruled a danger to the community and ordered held without bail.