Ah, it seems whenever a controversial story arises in Susanville or Lassen County, the conspiracy theory gadflies are sure to follow.
And the big gossip loudly reverberating around today regards a coverup of Brad Reger’s molestation of boys in Susanville. According to information included in an affidavit filed in district court, the Susanville Police Department initiated criminal investigations of sexual abuse allegations in 2003, 2006 and 2007 “based on multiple independent allegations of approximately 12 minor boys in Susanville.
“These interviews revealed a consistent pattern of behavior that Reger used to identify and groom his victims and detailed reoccurring methods that he used to sexually abuse them under the guise of legitimate medical treatment,” according to the affidavit.
How can it be no criminal charges were ever filed by the district attorney against this predator who allegedly faced sexual abuse allegations as far back as 1986? the gadflies ask. They allege this situation could only arise from a coverup. Unfortunately, so far they have no evidence to present — just unanswered questions and concerns.
Lassen News asked Lassen County District Attorney Susan Rios if any criminal sexual abuse cases had ever been filed against Reger in Lassen County Superior Court, and she checked her office’s files.
Rios said there were two reports filed with the DA by law enforcement personnel regarding Reger.
One case came over in 2007, but it could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired on that allegation, she said. Another case came over in 2008, and it was rejected by the district attorney due to insufficient evidence.
“The standard for (the DA) filing a case is different than the standard for arrest,” Rios explained. “What you need for an arrest is just probable cause — that a crime was probably committed and this person probably committed a crime. But when criminal charges are filed, as a prosecutor, your burden is to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. So, the burden of proof significantly increases.”
And Rios said she wasn’t going to engage in any Monday-morning quarterbacking of these old cases.
“I don’t know the facts of those prior cases — 15 or 16 years ago — so I’m not going to substitute my judgement for that of another prosecutor from that time period,” Rios said. “I’ve never seen the crime reports. I don’t know who the victims are or who the reporting witnesses are. You have to trust the judgement of the reviewing prosecutor.”