PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been charged after a woman accused him of sending sexually explicit photos and videos to his personal phone during an investigation and of using his authority to obtain sexual gratification, the district attorney said.
District Attorney John Hummel filed charges against former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy Ron Brown on Monday. He’s charged with three counts of first-degree official misconduct and one count of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image.
According to the indictment, Brown’s initial crimes occurred on Aug. 29, 2021 when the district attorney’s office said Brown responded to the scene of a death investigation.
At the scene, he spoke to a woman who was the girlfriend of the man who died, prosecutors say. The woman asked Brown to delete sexual pictures and videos of her and her boyfriend from her boyfriend’s phone. She asked Brown to do this because she did not want her boyfriend’s family to see the videos.
Rather than deleting the photos and videos, the district attorney’s office said Brown transferred them from the dead boyfriend’s phone to his own phone.
For this, Brown is charged with one count of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image and one count of first-degree official misconduct.
On December 30, 2021, prosecutors say the girlfriend of the man who had died on Sept. 28 was being evicted from a local motel and motel management would not allow her to collect some of her personal belongings that were in the room she’d been staying in.
According to the district attorney’s office, the woman called Brown and asked for help because she knew him from the prior investigation and she trusted him.
“Brown, eager to ‘help,’ went to the motel, represented to motel management that he was there on law enforcement business, and retrieved the victim’s belongings,” Kara Palacio, administrative supervisor for the district attorney’s office, wrote in a press release.
For misrepresenting himself to motel management, Brown was charged with another count of first-degree official misconduct, the district attorney’s office said.
After retrieving the woman’s items from the motel under false pretenses, prosecutors allege Brown called her and asked her to meet him in the parking lot of a Shari’s Restaurant.
When she arrived, the district attorney’s office said Brown told her to get into his car. When she was in the car, the district attorney’s office said the woman could see Brown was watching pornography on his phone and was aroused.
For this, the district attorney’s office charged him with the third count of first-degree official misconduct.
“Shame on Ron Brown. Our community entrusted him with a badge, handcuffs, and a gun on the condition that he would use the authority we granted him to keep our community safe. Instead, the evidence shows he weaponized the trust we put in him by taking advantage of someone who was particularly vulnerable due to her grief from losing her boyfriend,” District Attorney Hummel said.
He said Brown’s actions dishonor the reputation of other law enforcement officers in the community.
Hummel reminds the public that Brown is presumed innocent until the state proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
“That having been said, on behalf of the woman who was victimized in this case, and all the good cops in Deschutes County, my team and I will fight for justice to be done,” he said.
Brown is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 29, 2022.