California Youth Pastor Abuses Numerous Boys on Religious Trips Under the Guise of Inspecting Their Genitals as Part of Medical Examinations

Bradley Earl Reger
Bradley Earl Reger Facebook

A California church deacon allegedly sexually abused numerous boys on religious mission trips under the guise of inspecting their genitals for "concerning" moles -- helping protect the children, he told them, from the ravages of skin cancer.

The abuse dates back to at least 2009, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Sacramento federal court upon his July 7 arrest and obtained by The Daily Beast.

Bradley Earl Reger, 67, "used his position of authority... to groom children and continually grope their naked genitals for his own sexual pleasure," federal prosecutors said in a detention memo after Reger was taken into custody.

Reger Fondled the Teenage Boys on Church Trips

Local police first received reports in 2003 of abuse by Reger, who "never seemed to run out of teenage boys whose genitals he could fondle under the guise of medical 'exams,'" according to the memo.

Reger, fromSusanville, has owned and operated several ambulance and lifeflight services in Northern California and Nevada, and has been "heavily involved in various Christian schools, summer camps, youth groups, and church missions," the filing continues. "He has held positions as a teacher, camp counselor, wrestling coach, church deacon, youth group leader, board member of various school boards, and owner of affiliated non-profit organizations."

Many of the boys were abused on international "Work and Witness" trips affiliated with the Susanville Church of the Nazarene, according to a July 4 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation report attached to the detention memo. The assaults occurred in, among other countries, Poland, Ukraine, and the Philippines, it says. Prosecutors say others took place in Reger's Susanville health clinic, on camping trips, and inside vehicles.

Reger Touched Victims Over 'Concerning Moles,' Would Ejaculate Them as Part of 'Semen Test' to Cure Non-existent Stomach Problems

Reger was arrested as he returned home from a trip to Colorado, according to court records. When he wasn't looking for nonexistent moles, he coerced victims into letting him grope them using "concerns about... hypothermia, about chlorine eye irritation, about intestinal problems all as pretenses to conduct 'exams' and touch minors' naked genitals," the detention memo alleges.

Some children were forcibly held down while Reger penetrated them with his fingers, the memo states. Meanwhile, others were told their semen needed to be tested, and were instructed to ejaculate, according to the memo. One victim said Reger chalked his stomach problems up to hydrocele, or a buildup of fluid in the scrotum. Reger then "repeatedly used a device called a doppler ultrasound to stimulate blood flow to that victim's testicles and penis... approximately once per month and before each trip," the detention memo states.

Reger May Have Abused More than 100 Children

Prosecutors say they have evidence of sexual abuse by Reger involving at least a dozen victims from age 12 to 22, and believe there are "likely many more victims that will be confirmed following the defendant's arrest." However, another victim wrote in a statement to the judge in Reger's case that he "personally" knows over 100 children Reger abused, and "dozens of others" that he has never met in person.

As reported by The Daily Beast, in 2008, Reger convinced the parents of a 12-year-old, identified in the complaint as "Minor Victim #3," that "boys need exposure to outdoor adventure and discussed the camping trips he led in Alaska," the complaint goes on.

Reger paid for Minor Victim #3 to join him on trips to Reno, Nevada, and Alaska, where he would give the boy a "physical exam" consisting of a purported medical check-up, during which he took a urine test and performed a "genital inspection." He then checked the boy's "entire nude body for moles," instructing him to get an erection so he could better view the mole, the complaint continues.

Bradley Earl Reger
Bradley Earl Reger Facebook

In late 2009, Reger invited Minor Victim #3 and his family on a medical assistance mission to the Philippines, and financed the entire thing, according to the complaint. While there, Minor Victim #3 came down with a cough that Reger diagnosed as pneumonia. He told the boy's family the boy should stay with him in his Manila hotel room instead of traveling to a local clinic, the complaint states.

Inside the room, Reger once again subjected the boy to a "physical exam," including a "mole inspection," then "gave him a long hug with a prayer," when it was over, the complaint says."This 'exam' process repeated on every trip and continued at random times in hotel rooms or camper vans whenever Minor Victim #3 saw Reger," according to the complaint. "Reger continually discussed the dangers of skin cancer. He said the mole on Minor Victim #3's penis could cause impotence or otherwise affect sexual experience if it got bad. At the end of each exam, Reger noted the mole on his penis was concerning and needed further monitoring."

Two victims, now adults, told investigators that Reger reappeared years after the alleged abuse, meeting with them shortly before their weddings to advise them "on how to sexually please their wives," according to prosecutors.

"For one of those victims, shortly before he got married, [Reger] gave him an 'exam' as he had in the past," the detention memo states.

Reger remains jailed without bond, pending a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.