Tomorrow afternoon, the man who viciously attacked and raped a 58-year-old woman near 22nd/Roxbury will be sentenced.
Her daughter called us today to ask us to ask you to be there, if you possibly can – “to make a statement that we, as a community, want justice.”
We reported here on October 24th about 25-year-old Christopher A. Brown‘s guilty plea, four months after he was arrested in Oklahoma; he had been visiting here when he committed the crime. His plea hearing happened unannounced; we just happened to find the court documents a week later.
His crime itself initially came to light after we were asked about a helicopter search in the early morning hours of March 7th; we followed up with the King County Sheriff’s Officeand learned what happened: The victim had been walking to catch a bus; Brown asked her for a cigarette, which she gave him, and then offered her money for sex, which she declined, at which time he grabbed her, dragged her into the bushes, choked her until she was nearly unconscious, punched and kicked her in the face and body, raped her, and then before getting away, robbed her and threatened to kill her family – pointing out he had her personal information, in her purse – if she reported it.
In subsequent weeks, as deputies worked to solve it – including door-to-door contacts, trying to find information, showing a sketch, and a photo of the purse Brown stole from the victim – the intensely brutal attack continued to draw regional attention.
Brown – found via DNA match – pleaded guilty in mid-October to rape, assault, and robbery. Prosecutors are recommending that he be sentenced to a little over 14 years.
The victim’s daughter says her mother will speak at tomorrow’s hearing. So will she. And so will – her voice caught a little as she told us this – her 9-year-old daughter.
They hope, it goes without saying, that Brown will pay a heavier price. And they hope that community members can show their support, to show the good and caring in the world. They want the judge to know this wasn’t just a crime against one woman – this was a crime against the community, affecting people’s sense of safety, raising suspicion, increasing fear.
The sentencing is scheduled for 1 pm tomorrow in Judge Julie Spector‘s courtroom, E-815 (eighth floor), King County Superior Court in the County Courthouse downtown (516 Third Avenue). It is open to the public; if you can go, allot time for the security check (our advice, try the 4th Street entrance, where there’s usually less of a wait).