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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