October 16, 2021

Man accused of imprisoning, raping woman agrees to plea

A man accused of raping, threatening, beating and imprisoning a woman over two days in March accepted a plea agreement Thursday in Cortland County Court.

Taupac R. Reed, 31, of 1136 Vine St., Liverpool, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, a felony, for his role in allegedly raping, imprisoning, beating and threatening a woman between March 24 and March 26, according to court documents.

Reed was indicted July 15 in Cortland County Court on charges of first-degree rape, attempted first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree assault, second-degree strangulation, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, felonies; and second-degree menacing, a misdemeanor.

At the start of Reed’s appearance Thursday, Judge Julie A. Campbell denied Reed’s request for a change of attorney from Kayla Hardesty of the Cortland County Public Defender’s Office, which Reed requested at his July 29 appearance.

Following that, Hardesty said Reed was willing to accept the plea agreement that Hardesty had discussed with Assistant District Attorney Victoria Monty before Thursday’s appearance.

Monty recommended that Reed be sentenced to three years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.

Hardesty agreed.

Reed’s top charge, first-degree rape, carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and 25 years of post-release supervision along with having to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.

Campbell also agreed about the two sides going forward with the plea, saying that “a trial would not be in anyone’s best interest,” though she did not elaborate.

Campbell, though, said she still needed to review the pre-sentencing report before setting Reed’s sentence. The report could refute the plea agreement, in which case Reed would have an opportunity to withdraw the plea.

Reed will be sentenced Oct. 14.

Reed and the woman became acquaintances after the two met while on a walk, according to court documents. Reed and the woman went back to her Cortland apartment on March 24 and over the course of two days, calls were made by neighbors and the apartment complex’s manager out of concerns for her safety.

At one point, she ran naked from her apartment into the hall and banged on doors of other apartments yelling for help, but no one answered, the woman testified earlier this year. Reed brought her back to her apartment, threatened her with a knife and choked her until she was unconscious, she said.

Reed initially denied those allegations, saying the woman lied and that he was drugged by the victim, according to a statement he wrote.

Reed admitted to allegations Thursday that he broke the woman’s ankle.