Former school board candidate Richard Brown found guilty - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Former school board candidate Richard Brown found guilty

Richard Brown is now an associate minister at Friendship Baptist Church. That's where police say he met some of his victims. But Brown says his illegal activity ended in 2001 before he built his relationship with God. Richard Brown is now an associate minister at Friendship Baptist Church. That's where police say he met some of his victims. But Brown says his illegal activity ended in 2001 before he built his relationship with God.
Friday Brown (center) pled "no contest" to charges that he encouraged young men to have sex with other men for money. Friday Brown (center) pled "no contest" to charges that he encouraged young men to have sex with other men for money.

TOLEDO -- A Toledo minister and former school board candidate could face up to a year and a half behind bars.

Friday he pled "no contest" to charges that he encouraged young men to have sex with other men for money. He was found guilty.

News 11's Lisa Rantala reported live from the courthouse with the latest.

Richard Brown is now an associate minister at Friendship Baptist Church. That's where police say he met some of his victims.

But Brown says his illegal activity ended in 2001 before he built his relationship with God.

Nearly a year-long investigation that included five felony child endangering charges against Richard Brown comes down to this: Taking a plea and signing a form.

The former Toledo employee, school board candidate and current Baptist minister pled no contest to three misdemeanor charges involving prostitution and juveniles.

Prosecutor Tim Braun said, "The defendant is contacting young men and offering them to come to Toledo and have sex with other men."

Prosecutors say a member of Brown's church contacted police last year, claiming Brown was showing her teenage sons pornography and encouraging them to pose for pornographic pictures.

Investigators seized Brown's home computers. They found e-mails he sent to at least three young men from 2001 to 2003.

Prosecutor Braun read a portion of one of the emails: "Dude, I didn't know you needed the money. I've always got someone wanting to pay up to $500 for sex."

Brown encouraged them to have sex with other men for money, and then made young females available for sex as well.

Brown claims the e-mails date back earlier before he was with his church. In a letter to the judge, he says 'I can understand why some of the material would be inappropriate to others in society'. He also stated, "I apologize to my family, my friends, and my church family."

Defense attorney Ronnie Wingate confirms Brown was not with the church when the crimes occurred.

Prosecutors still describe the case as an abuse of a religious position. But, they decided to drop the felony charges since the original victims would no longer cooperate.

Posted by LS 

 

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