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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 22, 2009 at 2:44 PM

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Pimp convicted of child rape despite "penis defense"

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

A King County jury that heard the case against Brandon Lemar Brown over the past week apparently didn't buy his defense. He claimed that he couldn't have raped the 15-year-old girl he was pimping out because she couldn't accurately describe his penis in detail.

Brown, 25, testified in Superior Court that he was half-circumcised, that his penis was covered in some type of marks and that it was extremely small, authorities said. However, a police detective disagreed with his description.

To combat Brown's defense, King County Deputy Prosecutor Sean O'Donnell called a Seattle police detective, who photographed Brown's penis, to testify on its appearance. The photos were shown to jurors while they deliberated.

After just a few hours deliberating, jurors on Thursday found Brown guilty of third-degree child rape and promoting commercial abuse of a minor. Brown faces up to 12 years in prison, a sentencing date hasn't been set.

Brown is a convicted sex offender who has served jail time for communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Brown's conviction comes three weeks after another Seattle man was handed a hefty sentence for raping a 12-year-old girl and coercing her into prostitution. Steven Leonard, 25, was sentenced to 23-years in prison - the longest sentence allowed under state standards.

Commercial sexual abuse of a minor, a felony, has only been used in a handful of cases in King County, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for the prosecutor's office. The charge went into law in July 2007.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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