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March 22, 2013

 

120-year sentence in rape case

48-year-old city man convicted of raping girl planning an appeal

By MARK FERDINAND
Staff Reporter
mferdinand@cortlandstandardnews.net

A city man found guilty by a jury in October of 14 felony counts of rape, sexual abuse and criminal sex acts against a child received six consecutive 20-year prison sentences Thursday from Cortland County Judge Julie Campbell.
Frederick Brown, 48, of 5 Crawford St., was convicted of raping a now 23-year-old woman when she was 12, 13, 14 and 16.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath urged Campbell to send a message by sentencing Brown to a term beyond the 50-year allowable limit for aggregate sentences, citing a similar case in Kings County in January where a rabbi was sentenced to 103 years for similar criminal sex acts against a 12-year-old.
McGrath argued for maximum sentences on each count of first-degree rape, recalling each instance of abuse from a man who outweighed the girl by 200 pounds, and one whom she regarded as a stepfather.
“We know family members looked the other way; they knew about him sleeping naked in her bed,” she said.
Brown was convicted of raping the girl in her own bed when she was 12, and forcing a pillow over her head to “blot out her screams,” said McGrath.
When she was 13, Brown took her to a secluded, wooded area in Cincinnatus and raped her against a truck. She became pregnant at that age and Brown forced her to have the baby aborted, McGrath said, and take birth control medication afterward. He was also convicted of forcing her to engage in oral sex with him when she was 14 and raping her in a Cortland warehouse against wooden boards when she was 16.
“She will never get over the trauma of the abuse,” said McGrath. “He should never be let out of prison.”
The woman, now married with two children, said even though the rapes had stopped years ago, she still felt “depressed and sad.”
“I have trouble feeling comfortable with my husband, and I have trouble getting intimate with him,” she said.
The woman said she has nightmares where Brown laughs at her and taunts her. She said reporting Brown’s actions to police cost her close relationships, with Brown’s and her own family.
“My mother has never met my children. People who were once my family have either cursed me or ignored me,” she said through sobs. “I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison. He took everything from me and I’ll be dealing with it for the rest of my life.”
Brown’s attorney, Keith Dayton, called it “unethical” to sentence his client beyond what case law allows, and said that because of an upcoming appeal, Brown could not discuss the facts and nature of the case in his defense at sentencing.
“He stands before you with no prior criminal record ... a devoted father, fiance, son and brother,” said Dayton, arguing for the rape sentences to run concurrently, rather than consecutively. His client has maintained his innocence since the victim came forward in 2010.
“Mr. Brown fully intends to appeal the sentence,” he said afterward, adding that such appeal would most likely take place in about six months.
McGrath called Campbell’s sentence “very fair,” and was skeptical of Brown’s appeal chances.
Brown was sentenced to a total of 120 years on six consecutive 20-year sentences of first-degree rape. In addition, he will serve three 2 1/3- to 7-year sentences on second-degree rape counts; 1 1/3 to 4 years for third-degree rape; 20 years for first-degree criminal sex acts; 2 1/3 to 7 years for second-degree criminal sex acts and attempted criminal sex acts; and 10 years for first-degree sexual abuse. Those sentences will run concurrently.

 

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