Former youth-home worker sentenced for showing illegal material to minors

Utah Fifth District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date and time unknown | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A St. George man was sentenced in Fifth District Court to serve just over 100 days in prison for showing pornographic material to minors while working at a youth treatment facility.

Donald Brown, Jr., 48, of St. George, appeared before Judge Eric Ludlow for sentencing Tuesday after pleading guilty to five third-degree felony counts of “dealing in materials harmful to a minor.”

Brown worked at a youth treatment home in LaVerkin where he discussed his sex life with six boys at the home, according to a probable cause statement. One of the boys told the home’s administrative staff. The staff launched an internal investigation that led to Brown’s being fired. At that point, the staff contacted the LaVerkin City Police who interviewed the boys and then Brown.

The boys said Brown showed them between 15-20 pornographic images and videos on his phone. According to the probable cause statement, Brown initially denied he ever let the boys see what was on his phone and did not let the investigating officer look at his phone. However, he did admit to talking to the boys about his sex life, and eventually he said the boys had seen images and videos on his phone, though “every time was an accident,” he said.

Brown’s lawyer, Ryan Stout, told Ludlow that Brown had no criminal history until the recent episode. Since being let go from the youth treatment facility, Brown had found a new job and was providing for his family, the attorney said, and he has also been compliant with the court and related entities.

“He is a great candidate for probation,” Stout said.

However, Ludlow was not as optimistic. “I don’t think you’ve come clean, quite honestly,” the judge said. Brown had not taken responsibility for showing the boys the material on the phone, he said, as Brown claimed instead that it was an accident.

Brown said his statements at the time were made out of frustration; but after discussing the matter with his lawyer, he said, “I admit to it, and I apologize.”

Ludlow acknowledged the statement, but the incident still happened, and it didn’t help that the boys were in a vulnerable position and he was in a position of authority over them. However, the fact he had no prior criminal history did work in his favor, the judge said.

Brown was sentenced to serve 120 days in prison, which was lowered to 103 days as Brown had been in Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility for 17 days following his arrest. He was also given 36-months probation following his release.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Utah Fifth District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date and time unknown | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Utah Fifth District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date and time unknown | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

 

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3 Comments

  • adults November 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Adults in St George sure like their porn. This is nothing new, just kept in the closet.

  • DoubleTap November 13, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Only ting this individual is sorry about is….getting caught.

  • Student November 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I have been to that troubled teen home for 2 years and when you have to face the wall when the opposite sex walks by and you have no contact, can’t even say hi to a girl it messes with you. Anychance you get at explicit material you better bet any kid in that program is going to try to see. Its sad to see Don got influenced by the kids but at the same time its messed up to be going thru puberty and have to face the wall when the girls walk by. I got into more trouble after that program than before not to mention the $4, 000 each month for 24 months my parents paid to have me “fixed” when we slept in a small room with 7 other boys, got fed cafeteria food for 2 years straight, no internet, no tv, no contact with girls, and have to bend over backwards to get lectured for looking out of line structure. This place was a total scam and I’m glad its closed so other people don’t get scammed out of large chunks of money to have their kids treated like slaves. We did all the work around the facility sometimes doing hard labor projects all day long not getting paid of course.

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