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November 1, 2013

Police say mom sought cash for contact with 4-year-old

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

LEFT: Jennifer Brys
RIGHT: Edward Reardon

WARREN — A Warren mother and a man she reportedly met online remained jailed on felony charges Oct. 31 after police said the pair attempted to exchange a sexual act between the man and the woman’s 4-year-old daughter for cash.

Jennifer Brys, 26, and Edward Reardon, 26, of Lincoln Park, were arraigned Oct. 30 in the 37th District Court on charges of child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime. Both charges are 20-year felonies.

Police said the father of the 4-year-old girl called 911 Sept. 1 after he found disturbing text messages on Brys’ phone that reportedly revealed plans to arrange a sexual event involving the girl.

Warren Police Detective Cpl. Donald Seidl said officers later went to Brys’ home on Fisher and seized her phone and an iPad. Seidl said the ensuing investigation revealed Brys put an ad on an Internet website offering sex in exchange for money. He said Reardon responded to the ad and later communicated with Brys by text message.

At some point in the course of their communication, the focus allegedly turned to Brys’ 4-year-old daughter. Seidl said Reardon eventually offered Brys up to $600 for an opportunity to take a shower with the girl.  Police also alleged Reardon asked Brys if she could recruit girls between the ages of 7 and 12 for sexual encounters with him.

“Honestly, her ad was more about her. She was going to be an escort,” Seidl said. “It was his idea for the kid, and she jumped on it.”

Seidl said Brys and Reardon had a date and time arranged for the meet-up in early September, sometime after the girl’s father called 911 and notified Warren police.

The investigation into the phone records and IP addresses involved in the communications, conducted with the assistance of the FBI, eventually led police to Reardon, who was arrested in late September as the result of another case, later freed on a $10,000 bond and placed on a federal court tether.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Reardon allegedly communicated online in early 2013 with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl, who turned out to be an officer assigned to a cybercrime task force in Nebraska.

Reardon reportedly offered no statement to Warren police and requested court-appointed legal counsel to represent him locally. Seidl said Reardon turned himself in after Macomb County prosecutors authorized the new charges.

Brys also requested a court-appointed attorney after her arrest and arraignment.

Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green called the circumstances surrounding the allegations “disgusting,” and said Brys went so far as to send Reardon a photo of her clothed daughter. He said Reardon had asked for a photo of the girl naked. 

“You’ve got multiple layers of bad guys here. You’ve got the predator on one end. You’ve got the mom on the other, who you’d think would do everything in her power to protect the child from harm, and you have just the opposite happening,” Green said.  “If you look at the picture of the daughter it puts everything in perspective — what’s happening. This little girl, 4 years old, is standing in the picture with a smile on her face. Unbeknownst to her, her mother is in the process of negotiating for someone to have sex with her 4-year-old. That should make people very angry.”

Police said the girl was placed in the custody of her maternal grandmother.

Both Reardon and Brys were held on $500,000 cash bonds ahead of their next court date, scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Nov. 7.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.