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Archive for Friday, November 19, 2010

Douglas County judge allows harsher sentence for woman convicted of child endangerment

November 19, 2010

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Natasha Brown

Natasha Brown

A 34-year-old Lawrence woman convicted of endangering two girls who say they were sexually assaulted by her husband can face a steeper sentence than normally allowed under state guidelines, a Douglas County judge has ruled.

District Judge Peggy Kittel has granted a motion from prosecutors and found that Natasha M. Brown ignored obvious signs her husband was sexually “grooming” the two girls and failed to protect them when they frequently visited her northern Lawrence home over a period of two years.

“The defendant violated the special trust and confidence given to her by the victims’ parents to safeguard the children,” Kittel wrote in her ruling this week.

Amy McGowan, a chief assistant Douglas County district attorney, has said Brown would qualify for a more severe sentence because of the age of the victims and because the defendant had a relationship of trust with the girls.

A jury in October convicted Brown of two counts of aggravated child endangerment and one count of lewd and lascivious behavior. Her husband, Donald Brown, 33, faces a January trial on multiple charges, including three counts of child rape. He is accused of having sex with and molesting the two girls, who are now ages 9 and 11, from June 2008 to May of this year.

Natasha Brown’s attorney has said she has no prior criminal history, which meant she originally faced a seven-month sentence on each count. But under state guidelines, Kittel would have been required to sentence her to probation.

Because of her ruling, Kittel now has the authority to sentence Brown to a maximum of nearly 14 years in prison on each count.

The girls’ family met the Browns through Heritage Baptist Church, which is northwest of Lawrence. Prosecutors have said that in May the girls told their parents and accused Donald Brown of having sex with them. Police later arrested the Browns.

Comments

Bob Forer 3 years, 8 months ago

Whenever i hear someone describe themselves as a "Good Christian" i run away as fast as I can. These folks provide fuel for my prejudice.

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Kelly Johnson 3 years, 8 months ago

Judge Kittel is a hero. Thank you, Judge, for doing the right thing.

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ferrislives 3 years, 8 months ago

I wish that there were more like Judge Kittel in the country.

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ebyrdstarr 3 years, 8 months ago

"Because of her ruling, Kittel now has the authority to sentence Brown to a maximum of nearly 14 years in prison on each count."

That should be 14 months, not 14 years. And even if the judge then wants to run all three 14 month terms consecutively, by law the sentence would have to max out at 28 months. There is no way for the judge to sentence this woman to anything more than just over 2 years.

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ebyrdstarr 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually, 14 months per count isn't even possible. The max for each count is 7 months. So a total of 14 months is the legal maximum.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 8 months ago

In airports across this great country TSA employees are groping fliers of all ages. I've witness a 3 year old screaming stop touching me. This is said to be for security but I call this abuse also! We need Judge Kittle ruling on TSA employee's abuse also!

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missmagoo 3 years, 8 months ago

Can we get a fact check on the 14 years vs. 14 months please LJW?

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ebyrdstarr 3 years, 8 months ago

I originally posted before I'd had my coffee. It shouldn't even be 14 months maximum per count. It's 14 months maximum total. These are all level 9 felonies and with no criminal history, the maximum prison sentence for each is 7 months. But the presumptive sentence is probation. The judge made fact findings, as she is allowed to do, to depart from probation to prison. But the judge cannot make fact findings to increase the prison term beyond the prescribed maximum prison term of 7 months. At most, then, for each count, she can be sentenced to 7 months. But by law, the sentence can only be double the sentence for the top count. So 14 months is the absolute maximum.

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missmagoo 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for explanation and I knew it sounded too good to be true. Would you like a job working for the LJW and/or the Associated Press? Sounds like they need a new legal advisor!

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/11/19/2451571/harsher-sentence-possible-in-lawrence.html

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asbury 3 years, 8 months ago

Just wondering.....Is Ms. Brown of average intelligence? Seriously, is she "slow"?

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missmagoo 3 years, 8 months ago

If I had to put money on it, I'd say "slow," because of she was of average/above average intelligence, she would probably be charged as a co-conspirator to the rape charges. But since the charges stem from the fact that she "ignored obvious signs" of her husband's actions... my guess is slow.

I do not know this woman, however, NOR DO I CARE TO!

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asbury 3 years, 8 months ago

I actually saw her in public once, and I noticed that she walked very slowly....I noticed that when she went down the staris she only used one leg to step down on.

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Kat Christian 3 years, 8 months ago

She looks ignorant enough to do something like this. It is so very sad when adults cross the boundries of appropriateness toward children. Seems to me only these adults bodies grew and not their brains and they were only pretending to be adults so they could prey on innocent children. Don't they realize what they've stolen from these precious little girls? Their childhood innocence...and they can never get that back. But don't let Christian's like these deter you away from God's love and glory. People like this give religion a bad name, but don't let them feed your mind with negative thoughts about what God is capable of doing in your life. Your relationship with God is personal and doesn't have to brought out in a Church or around people who claim to be Christians. You don't need a Church to tell you how or when to read the bible. But you do need people who think and feel the same about God as you do, if anything to give each other strength in the power of God. Amen - now I'll step down off my soap box thank you.

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