Residents fight to change sex offender laws

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Stanley Brown was a parent to beautiful daughters, a janitor for the Juneau School District, a loving husband - and a rapist.

He was convicted of victimizing one of his family members, and his crimes sent emotionally crippling ripples through what was, by all appearances, a "normal, happy" family, said his wife, Janet.

And in less than six years, he may have a chance to do it all over again.

Janet Brown and family friend Teresa Williams formed a group they call "Pissed Off Parents," which wants to change how Alaska courts punish sex offenders.

"My husband's conviction has destroyed my family, not to mention a 27-year marriage that was basically all a lie," said Janet Brown. "He used me to portray a family and when he gets out, he'll have no obligations, no guilt - never having knowledge of what he did to us.

"But the family will have to live with this. We will have to deal with this for the rest of our lives. ... I just didn't want to be a victim anymore."

The women have the ear and possibly the pen of new Juneau Republican Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, who has agreed to draft a bill addressing some of the women's concerns.

The women also are seeking support from members of Congress, speaking to victims' advocacy groups, and taking to the malls and Internet to alert people to the dangers of what they consider lenient sentencing for sex offenders, said Williams. They are attempting to garner support for legislation creating harsher sentencing and probation guidelines for convicted sex offenders.

The women said they were inspired by the rage and frustration they felt during the prosecution of Stanley Brown's case.

Brown was convicted Nov. 1 of second-degree sexual assault, a felony. According to court records, he gave an adult family member, whose name was not released, "knock-out drops," waited until she was unconscious, and then had sex with her while he videotaped the act.

The original charges included third-degree sexual assault and incest, both felonies, stemming from the videotaped assault. He also was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a felony, stemming from a separate incident during which he allegedly raped a 16-year-old family member whose name was not released.

"I never thought I would get raped by (Brown)," said the girl's written statement in a POP brochure. "I felt really hurt and betrayed by what he did. Not only to me but what he did to my family."

All but the sexual assault charge were dropped as part of a plea agreement and Brown has maintained his innocence. And not everyone in his family thinks he is a rapist. Brown's sister, Karen Price, said she believes in Brown's innocence on some of the charges.

Brown was sentenced to 10 years in prison with four years suspended and five years of probation. He also must register as a sex offender and is prohibited from working with minors when he is released.

"I cried when I saw what they were offering (in the plea agreement)," Janet Brown said. "And it wasn't the DA's office's fault. They were trying to keep (the alleged victim) off the stand so she wouldn't have to be 'raped' again. At least this way they'd be guaranteed a conviction."

Williams said POP wants legislation that would increase offenders' jail time by eliminating time off for good behavior in prison. The group also supports lifetime probation, drug suppressive therapies thought to curb sexual urges, creating a designation on the state sex offender registry to indicate people likely to re-offend, and prohibiting offenders from getting jobs where they could obtain personal information about victims or their families. Williams cited state jobs as examples.

Rep. Weyhrauch, who represents most of the Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay and points north, said he is not sure what the specifics of the bill will be, but plans to look at what the POP parents are asking for when he drafts the measure.

• Melanie Plenda can be reached mplenda@juneauempire.com

Sex offenses

Number of registered sex offenders in Juneau: 84.

Number of offenders convicted of felony sexual abuse of a minor: 37.

Length of the average sentence for these offenders: Four years with an average of 23 months suspended.

For more information on POP: Call 321-9200, e-mail at pissedoffparents@gci.net or check out their Web site at www.home.gci.net/~activeangels/.

To view the state Sex Offender Registry: Go to www.dps.ak.state.us.

Statistics courtesy of Teresa Brown. Information obtained from the state's Internet Sex Offender Registry Site.



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