By Gina Kim
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Given his repeated noncompliance with court orders while on probation, including another felony offense for ammunition possession, the defendant, Michael Brown, was sentenced in a hearing on Monday to eight years in state prison for committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a dependent adult.
Deputy District Attorney Aaron Corey requested a prison sentence given the “serious nature of the offense” as well as the “poor probation performance” discussed in the previous violation hearing.
For the past two years, Brown had continued violations “over and over” again, the prosecution stated.
Although Brown’s initial probation was set at three years, Corey requested an additional probation extension for at least three years to “make up for time” Brown had failed to act in compliance.
Public Defender Mindi Boulet agreed to the five-and-a-half-year probation term but contested the midterm eight-year sentence, arguing the “mitigating factors outweighs aggravation” and that a low term sentence of five years would be more appropriate.
Although Brown took advantage of his position of trust as the victim’s caretaker while the victim was in a vulnerable state, Boulet noted how Brown volunteered his wrongdoing early in the process and had a “satisfactory” probation performance back in 1999.
Boulet then described Brown’s process of gaining an understanding of what the victim had endured, stating he felt “very remorseful” after listening to people talk about it, including his therapist. The defense agreed to waive custody for one year.
Corey maintained that the defendant’s underlying conduct was “particularly alarming” given his offense’s “nature of seriousness.”
Cerebral palsy amplified the victim’s vulnerable state.
Furthermore, the physical and emotional injury brought onto the victim had been significant. After the incident, he suffered several flashbacks and could only sleep with light.
The defendant was a long-time family friend of the victim’s father and was hired to care for the victim.
“It was an egregious abuse of trust,” Corey stated. The prosecution also pointed to the defendant’s “lack of remorse” during the original sentencing.
Judge Thomas Adams selected the eight years’ mid-term state prison sentence and granted the extended three-year probation sentence.
As for the companion matter of Brown’s ammunition possession, the court sentenced him to two years of probation, as well as 72 days in custody.