|Robert Dale Brown|
By Josh Kegley
A Lexington police sergeant was sentenced to unsupervised probation after a jury found him guilty Wednesday of three counts of misconduct.
The jury recommended 150 days in jail for Sgt. Robert Dale Brown, but he won't have to serve that time unless he commits another crime, attorneys said.
Brown was accused of violating the public's trust by receiving sexual favors from a woman in his custody and failing to file proper charges against the woman and her fiancè.
Brown initially was charged with one count of first-degree official misconduct and two counts of second-degree official misconduct, all misdemeanors. A jury of three men and three women found him guilty on all counts after deliberating about four hours. However, they reduced the first-degree count to second-degree.
On Dec. 9, 2011, Brown arrested the woman, who had drug paraphernalia in her purse, took her to a remote area in Fayette County for sexual favors, then "un-arrested" her, according to testimony and court documents.
He also was accused of failing to file charges against the woman's fiancè, Brian Kazee, who was found with narcotic pills in his pocket. Brown charged Kazee with driving on a suspended license, even though Brown did not witness the traffic infraction.
The allegations came to light this year. Brown was relieved of sworn duty and was suspended without pay July 12. He was criminally charged in August. The woman accused Brown of raping her, but Lexington police testified that they found no evidence of rape. She filed a lawsuit in federal court a couple of weeks ago accusing Brown of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping and false arrest.
Testimony in the criminal case started Monday and was scheduled to last four days, but it wrapped up early. Fayette District Judge Kim Wilkie presided.
After jurors returned a verdict about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Wilkie began the sentencing phase. Brown's attorney, Steve Schroering, asked Wilkie to conditionally discharge Brown, meaning Brown would be on probation, but he would not be supervised by a parole officer.
Schroering said that Brown, who turned 51 on Wednesday, had no criminal history.
Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts said he did not object. "I know his background. He's a good man," the prosecutor said.
The judge told Brown he was prepared to send him to jail immediately if Roberts had objected to probation.
"We cannot have police officers in this county, or any county, acting above ... the law," Wilkie said.
After the trial, Roberts said it was a tough case that would not have been won without testimony from FBI agent Kevin Horan, as well as Brown's fellow officers who investigated the case.
Roberts said he thought the punishment was appropriate and that there was no reason to think Brown would commit another crime.
"To me, it was almost an anomaly in his life to have done what he did," Roberts said after the trial.
After Brown walked out of the courthouse Wednesday, his attorney said he would appeal the conviction.
"While we respect the verdict of the jury, we certainly disagree with it," Schroering said.