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Southern Oregon sports broadcaster charged with sex crimes

A well-known Southern Oregon broadcaster who has been active in media and youth sports circles for decades is in the Josephine County Jail facing a string of sex offense charges.

Jay Edward Reese, 60, who went by the nickname “Byrd” in his broadcasts on Medford and Grants Pass radio stations since the 1970s, was arrested last week on multiple second-degree sexual abuse charges accusing him of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl he’d met at Walmart late last month, according to documents filed in Josephine County Circuit Court and releases from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Police allege that Reese, a Grants Pass resident, met the teen on Jan. 28 at the Grants Pass Walmart, took the teen to lunch, then back to his apartment in the 100 block of Rogue River Highway, where she stayed overnight.

Reese allegedly engaged in sex acts with the girl that included sexual intercourse that night, according to police, and the teen allegedly told police that she repeatedly told Reese no and asked him to stop.

On Wednesday, a Josephine County grand jury added charges of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse surrounding two child pornography files found on Reese’s phone after his arrest.

One image “consistent with child exploitation” depicted a prepubescent female, the multi-agency Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force found, while another file depicted a toddler.

“Both images included an unknown adult male subject that was engaging in sexual conduct,” a court document filed by Grants Pass police states.

As of Wednesday evening, Reese is still in jail being held on $50,000 bail, Josephine County Jail records show.

Reese’s broadcast career began in 1976, when he landed his first job as a DJ at the age of 16 with KYJC 1230 in Medford, according to an earlier news report.

Mail Tribune archives show that he went on to make a name for himself as a sports announcer and broadcaster for Radio Medford, KAJO in Grants Pass and often announced high school sports games.

Because of Reese’s involvement with school sports programs in Oregon and Northern California, Grants Pass police believe more victims could still be out there. Anyone with information about Reese is asked to call Grants Pass Det. Heather Yerrick at 541-450-6260 and reference case No. 21-4447.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Jay Edward Reese, 60, who often announced local youth sporting events, faces a string of sex crime charges accusing him of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl and possessing child pornography. Josephine County Jail booking photo.