As-it-happened coverage: Survivor tells rapist at sentencing, ‘This is a hate crime against all women’

(TOPLINE: Sentencing now over as of 2:50 pm; recommended 14-year sentence, top end of range, given by judge, but she says she could recommend to state Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board that he never get out)

1:59 PM: We’re at the King County Courthouse, Superior Court Judge Julie Spector‘s courtroom, for the sentencing of 25-year-old Christopher A. Brown.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
He pleaded guilty last month (as reported here) in the March rape/beating of a 58-year-old woman near 22nd/Roxbury – a crime so brutal that deputies went door to door in the area for weeks, scouring for clues. Finally, a DNA match led to Brown, arrested in June in Oklahoma. The victim’s daughter told WSB yesterday that her mother will speak at this hearing, as she and her 9-year-old daughter plan to do. We’ll update live as it goes.

The prosecutor opened by explaining that this was a plea agreement, with a sentence of 171 months recommended – 14 years and 3 months. “This is one of the more serious assaults and rapes that we encountered in this courtroom. … I think the facts in this case (mean) the high end is appropriate in this case.” She says 4 family members want to speak. The 9-year-old granddaughter speaks first. When I look at you all I see is a monster that hurt my grandma…. It is painful to know you would want to cause so much pain. … After you left her for dead, when she came home, her eyes were swollen, and her body was sore.” She speaks of her grandmother’s difficulty in eating. “What you did broke my heart … You are a monster. You will never amount to anything … (but) as a family, you have made us stronger.”

Next, the little girl’s mother speaks, saying most of her thoughts “would be inappropriate to say in front of children. … I want you to know that the forgiveness from anyone you know … is irrelevant. … The only forgiveness that matters aside from your God … is that of my family and my mother, who you harmed.” She speaks of being “on the floor, crying” after finding out what happened to her mother. Her little girl, she says, was at the kitchen door and heard everything. When she saw her badly injured mother, “never in my life have I seen such a condition” but she tried hard to be strong in front of her. “My mother is a survivor, and as broken as you left her, she survived … most of all, she survived to see this day, when you would be prosecuted, and not able to hurt anyone else.” She asks the judge to “remove him from society … my mother was a stranger in the night, just passing by .. please give us justice and security of him remaining in supervision.”

Another family member says she is disturbed that Brown will have a chance someday to offend again: “I am left with this taunting question: Who will protect us” when he gets out again? “He left the victim naked, left her to die, left her in need of surgery to repair her face … “we will always see what you did to her,” she says to Brown. “… The only thing I can hope is that … you will be given more than 14 years … if you can do this to a stranger walking down the street, with such evil in your heart … to do such acts of violence not just to a woman, but to a grandmother … a wife, a mom, a human being …” She and others have mentioned that apparently Brown is a father-to-be.

Now, the victim speaks.

(Added: Video of survivor speaking. Low audio level – we weren’t allowed to record from jury box)
“I am the woman who was polite when asked for a cigarette … I even gave him a light for his cigarette … he made comments … I let them roll off my back … It didn’t matter to you that it was a main street, you came up behind me, wrapped your arms around my neck, choked me … told me you would kill me … at that instant, I woke up unconscious on the ground, to you kicking me, you told me, ‘you’re not dead yet, I’m not through with you’.”

She speaks in a strong voice, a furious voice, as she addresses him. She says her family “wasn’t raised to run around and do stuff to people and you weren’t raised that way either.” She says she has trouble eating and when she yawns “I hear all this metal snapping in my ears.” Her grandchildren are afraid to kiss her. “But I want you to understand this is never going to be over … your children will know about this because every year on the anniversary of your attack on me, I’m calling Oklahoma, I’m calling the newspapers, I’m telling everyone what you did to me …” She says she has worked in health care, and as a school-bus driver, but can’t do that any more because of the disabilities she’s left with, saying “no one will hire me because of this … Are you going to support my family? Are you going to support me, because of what you did?”

She speaks of her family’s concern for her safety. “If I had my way when this was all finished, I’m changing the laws … you left me for dead, now I have to worry for the rest of my life. … Monsters are supposed to be for Halloween … who the parents say, ‘there’s nothing under your bed’ … but the monster you are, there’s no cure for … because you don’t care about women, even the mother of your children that you beat while she was pregnant. … A man doesn’t do that. Humans don’t do that.”

Brown tries to say something and is rebuked. “You’ve got NOTHING to say to me.” She says she will seek restitution relentlessly. “You will not enjoy life to the fullest … by coming back out at 39 years old. The streets are going to know what you are about. Nobody can stop me from plastering your photo all over the streets of the United States.” She then points out the young grandson who has been standing by the bench with her, saying she had taught him about enunciation but can’t speak that way any more.

She talks about how she survived that night, how the detectives don’t know how she did, but she again says every year she will make sure as many people as possible know what he did. “This is a hate crime against all women.” She derides him for believing it’s “OK to beat pregnant women and old ladies” and tells him he messed with the wrong family.

2:26 PM: The survivor’s oldest daughter speaks now, calling Brown “a monster who does not deserve another chance in life with anyone.” She speaks about how her sense of security was ruined, how she used to love helping people … “I was upset when they wanted to give out candy for Halloween. I didn’t want them to turn on the porch light. … I saw my mother at the hospital the night this happened, before they could even give her anything for pain, because she was so broken.” But – “My mother is still beautiful .. her spirit is broken and shattered but she has the strength of our family. We ask that you give him as much time as you can if not more so he understands …” She speaks of her mother praying for their safety when they were young, and now she is doing that to make sure she knows what your mother is doing 24/7 “because I know there can be other people like him.”

Brown’s lawyer now speaks, saying if he had that kind of a family, “none of us would be here.” He says Brown was an abused child and was in prison early, and was a rape victim behind bars. After a few minutes, Brown speaks softly to say he apologizes for what he did.

Now, Judge Spector says the 171 months is the most she can sentence him to for the rape. She says that Brown’s family did not confirm his claims of growing up, abused, in a tough neighborhood, “so it’s unclear to the court where this behavior originates. There’s no excuse for it (regardless). … For your sake, I hope you ARE mentally ill, because it’s the only explanation for what you did to this family. It doesn’t justify it, it sort of explains it.”

She says she knows the area where it happened “very well” because she has a friend who lives in the area, “but it doesn’t really matter where it occurred … it occurred here, it affected those individuals, it was done by you and no one else.” She says she can’t give him any more time legally but she can recommend to the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board “that you never get out.”

She says the attack is “the nightmare of every woman,” an attack by a stranger as she walks down the street. “There’s no justification … I deal with people like you all the time. I am going to sentence you to the highest possible sentence … I wish it were longer … I wish it could be life … who wants to take a chance on somebody who’s (attacked) a pregnant woman and now … how many chances can (you get)? I think you’re done.” And she pronounces the 171-month sentence (for rape, with the assault/robbery sentences concurrent, and credit for the 162 days he has been in jail since his June arrest in Oklahoma). If he gets out, she says, he will be on community custody (probation) for life. And he will have to register as a sex offender, for the rest of his life.

FOOTNOTE: We’ll have to follow up with prosecutors regarding the mention of the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board. Reviewing its website, this seems to be what might apply.

34 Replies to "As-it-happened coverage: Survivor tells rapist at sentencing, 'This is a hate crime against all women'"

  • cookieb November 14, 2014 (2:25 pm)

    And this is a reason why as a female, I now carry a gun when I walk alone. I’m glad this monster is going to jail but for all the pain he inflicted on this women the punishment does not seem to fit the crime. We need harsher punishments for monsters like this. blessings to you and your family stay strong!

  • Apologist November 14, 2014 (2:28 pm)

    Justice in this case isn’t getting locked up. One can only hope that “justice” will be served many times in the corner of the cell after lights out.

  • B November 14, 2014 (3:12 pm)

    Justice isn’t an eye for an eye apologist. Rape is rape, and if we want to call it a crime then it’s a crime, period.

    Forcing someone to spend the rest of their life in a small cell is justice enough.

  • Neighbor November 14, 2014 (3:16 pm)

    This family is so very, very mighty.
    I wish you all peace and tenderness.
    Thank you for speaking up on behalf of all us

  • Bella November 14, 2014 (3:26 pm)

    He is a sociopath, he has no empathy, he cant hear nor comprehend the words of the hurting fae mily. They speak to deaf ears. Not telling the 9 year old that he can not hear her, would have saved her the trama of going into that court room. People like that dont have remorse within them, their brains are misfunctioned.

  • Anonymous November 14, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    B I think the main issue is that they aren’t being sentenced to live the rest of their life in a small cell. It’s only 14 years as of right now. Which is a terrifying thought that they might be back out on the streets again one day.

  • Ray November 14, 2014 (3:58 pm)

    Yeah. This is not a life sentence unfortunately.

    This human garbage will be released in 14 years and will likely continue some life of crime as he is not likely to be rehabilitated in prison.

    And while all of us here *except the family) will likely forget the incident and his name, someone somewhere down the line will likely be another victim.

    The only good out of this story is that everything aligned and he was actually caught even though he was many states away,

  • let's hope November 14, 2014 (4:16 pm)

    I’m hoping prison justice makes up for the light sentence he’s getting. The judge seems to get it right for once. We have others on the bench who’d let this guy off with a much lighter sentence. I admire the survivor and her family. Such strength! You’re an awesome example for all of us about how to pay it forward on justice

  • C November 14, 2014 (4:21 pm)

    14 years? That’s a joke! Sounds like he tried to kill her. Why do criminals get such light sentences? I LOVE THE STRENGTH OF THIS WOMAN AND HER FAMILY! Thank you for standing up and saying what you wanted/needed to in court. Yes, it’s a hate crime against all women.

  • sc November 14, 2014 (5:22 pm)

    “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”
    .
    ― Maggie Kuhn

  • LivesInWS November 14, 2014 (5:36 pm)

    Women, this is just one reason why you don’t need to be polite to anyone.

  • wsmom November 14, 2014 (6:31 pm)

    I wish there was a like button because I like so many of these posts.

    This is a joke of a sentence, what a piece of trash.

    To the victim and her family- I wish you peace and closure. While I know it will never truly go away- I’m so happy for all of you that he was caught and punished.

  • JoB November 14, 2014 (6:35 pm)

    doesn’t attempted murder carry a longer sentence than that?

    • WSB November 14, 2014 (6:36 pm)

      He was not charged with attempted murder. He was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, rape, assault, and robbery.

  • bestbets November 14, 2014 (6:45 pm)

    First of all. My heart goes outvtobrhe victim and her family – I can only imagine the horror she experienced and the fear and anguish they must still be experiencing. I wonder about the other comments though, implying that they wish the perpetrator would be brutalized in prison by other prisoners, or worse. Yes he will get out at some point – being brutalized I imagine would make him even more likely to reoffend. I would hope that he gets some sort of counseling in prison to give him some sort of empathy to understand the heinousness of his crimes so he won’t do something like this ever again and also that we get some insight about what made him a person that would commit such a horrible crime so that no one else has to experience such brutality.

  • Wsparent November 14, 2014 (7:01 pm)

    Sentence needs to be longer. We do not protect women and children enough in our society. Violent rapists and child molestors should be put to death. Rid the earth of them. He plead guilty, we know he is guilty. No excuse for this. Period.

  • jess November 14, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    wish i could of seen his face while she is saying this
    Bless you auntie

  • Community Member November 14, 2014 (7:06 pm)

    It was a heinous crime.
    .
    I think it is reasonable for commenters to advocate that the indeterminate sentencing board keeps the criminal in jail for a longer period, or for life.
    .
    I don’t think it is even the tiniest bit reasonable – under any circumstances – for forum members to be advocating rape.

  • elikapeka November 14, 2014 (7:25 pm)

    I have such admiration for the strength this family has shown. I hope you all have recovery, peace, and closure. You have taken control of your life and didn’t let him win. Your strength has helped and inspired more victims than you will ever know.

  • BLB November 14, 2014 (7:38 pm)

    There isn’t enough justice in the justice system.
    The debt he owes them could never be paid – he deserves to be locked up until he dies. Disgusted.

  • ChefJoe November 14, 2014 (7:44 pm)

    Somewhat off topic, but not entirely. As we push for more people to rely on mass transit, it’s high time we also do more to make that mass transit safe. Sentences should be automatically doubled for any assault on the bus or at a transit stop (or close to one). King County needs to make sure mass transit use is safer than it has been (Chris Brown, Trevonnte Brown, etc).

  • ACG November 14, 2014 (8:21 pm)

    My prayers go to this brave and strong family. Your courage to look this monster in the eye is awe inspiring. My prayers for you all to heal and be brought peace.

  • wb November 14, 2014 (8:58 pm)

    Thank you WSB for your coverage and to all who had the courage to speak.

  • R G November 14, 2014 (9:06 pm)

    Stellar coverage WSB.

  • KT November 14, 2014 (9:14 pm)

    Interesting to me that considering the prosecutor’s comments in the case …“This is one of the more serious assaults and rapes that we encountered in this courtroom.” … he entered into a plea agreement with this animal. Based on the judge’s comments I am surprised she accepted the plea agreement. I wouldn’t think that judging by the victim’s statements she would be satisfied with the agreement. I hope there is more this not stated and just not the usual dealing away justice to avoid the efforts of a trial.

  • WSTransitGurl November 14, 2014 (9:48 pm)

    Admire this woman and her family. So courageous to stand up and face this piece of human garbage and take back the dignity that he tried to steal. I hope she and her family can get some peace knowing that he is locked up. His punishment will be harsh and brutal in the world he is going to. As we all know, child molesters and rapists are the low of the low in the big house.

  • JoB November 15, 2014 (7:34 am)

    it’s time we stopped talking about rape as a sex crime and started talking about it as physical assault.
    .
    when you tell someone you will kill them during a rape and leave them for dead.. it is attempted murder.

    • WSB November 15, 2014 (8:29 am)

      I need to reiterate a WSB commenting rule here. No suggestion/advocacy of bringing physical harm to, much less killing, someone, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who they are or what they did. As a community, we’re better than that. But if you believe that’s what the law should enable, please work with your legislators. Thank you. – TR

  • Judgement day November 15, 2014 (11:00 am)

    So sorry for the family and the victim. It’s so powerful hearing her speak. I’m so impressed with the police work and the blogs coverage. Not an easy topic but she deserves to be heard. Its very chilling to me that I lived 1 mile from here and went to that Safeway and that he was just hiding out there. Is there a fund set up for her?

  • Catherine Wilson November 16, 2014 (9:54 am)

    Powerful family. Your voice inspires. Thank you.

    WSB, thank you for your coverage. You have such an important impact on our community.

  • Toni G November 17, 2014 (1:02 am)

    I am the victims daughter, mother of the 9 year old speaking on the YouTube page of the WESTSEATTLEBLOG I want to thank you all for the support and kind words. It was very hard for us to speak but even harder to say nothing at all when such pain has been caused. Most of all thank you WSB for being there for us. It helped give us strength by not being alone.
    -Judgement day, I have made a GO FUND ME PAGE for mother. If anyone would like to help support my efforts to get my mom a vehicle and NEVER have to catch a bus again please do so and if you are not in a position to help financially please share the link or her story to keep other’s safe. I don’t wish people to not help strangers out of fear, but I do wish people helping others not to turn their backs… We see what can happen if they do.
    http://www.gofundme.com/hdwaso

  • Toni G November 17, 2014 (1:07 am)

    Here is my daughter standing up to her Grandmother’s offender. I am so proud of my baby to fearlessly tell the person who has taken so much from us that he has made us stronger. Truer words were never spoken.

    • WSB November 17, 2014 (2:09 am)

      Here’s your daughter. I uploaded it much later, wasn’t sure the audio would come out because we had to be in the back, but her voice was so clear and strong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sgj537f0uM

  • Scott Dolfay November 18, 2014 (2:01 am)

    Unless fearful of harm I don’t generally believe in anonymous posts; that said, this is one impressive woman-mother-grandmother. People/society must have the strength to stand up against evil, and yes, this was evil. I have dear friends that suffered greatly because their then 19 year old daughter was brutally murdered while doing missionary work in 2002 in North Carolina. The murderer was 21 and had been jailed 11 times prior to his release. These were largely “property nonviolent crimes”. I will never forget her grace & purity (raised in Kodiak, AK) with only mere grizzly bears to worry about.

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