Man who worked as para at Free State High School waives right to preliminary hearing in child sex crime case

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center is pictured in March of 2022. The center houses the Douglas County District Court and other county services.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. Thursday

A man accused of asking two 16-year-old Lawrence girls for nude images has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is entering criminal mediation in the case.

The man, Jalil Lynn Brown, 29, a former paraeducator in the Lawrence school district, is charged with five counts of exploitation of a child by promoting an explicit performance, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of electronic solicitation.

Brown worked as a special education paraeducator at Lawrence Free State High School from Sept. 9, 2019, until his termination on Jan. 25 of this year, according to the Lawrence school district.

“On January 24, 2022, the district placed Brown on leave pending an investigation of a report of inappropriate conduct,” said Julie Boyle, a spokeswoman for the district. “Staff also notified the Lawrence Police Department. The district terminated his employment the following day.”

Brown appeared before Judge Kay Huff on Thursday and waived his right to a preliminary hearing at which a judge would have determined whether enough evidence existed to bind him over for trial. His defense attorney, Branden Smith, said that Brown would be entering into criminal mediation with the state.

District Attorney Suzanne Valdez and Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden appeared for the state. Seiden said that they hoped to reach an agreement before Brown’s arraignment on July 5.

According to an affidavit in support of Brown’s arrest, Brown is accused of paying a 16-year-old girl as much as $500 using Cash App to send him nude images of herself on SnapChat between March of 2021 and January of 2022.

Another 16-year-old accused Brown of asking her for a nude video of herself and said he asked to meet for sexual intercourse three times between the end of the school year in 2021 and January of 2022, the affidavit said.

Brown was interviewed by Lawrence police in the office of the student resource officer at Free State High School, where he denied the allegations that he asked the girl for a nude video but said she sent it to him on her own; he denied ever touching her or asking for sex, the affidavit said.

Brown allegedly told police that he did pay the other teen, who he said was a “premium Snapchat performer,” in increments of $20, the affidavit said.

After the hearing, Brown was returned to the Douglas County Jail, where he is being held on a $100,000 bond. He has been in custody since his arrest on April 28.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to release Brown’s jail booking photo.