Wendy's child stabber case deserves further review
Adam Lee Brown, the monster who cornered a young boy in a Wendy's restroom on Sandy Boulevard in Portland, sexually assaulted him, and then stabbed him, has been sentenced and put away. And so his story has promptly disappeared from the mainstream media.
But the case still troubles us, for several reasons. We can't believe that there's any possibility being left open of this guy ever walking the streets again -- but there is. We can't believe how little supervision there was of him, given his past record. And we can't believe the way law enforcement brushes off responsibility for the latest attack, and gets an easy pass from the media about it.
Let's start with Brown's history, courtesy of KATU:
According to news reports from KATU and others in 1993, Brown had unprotected sex with children and tried to infect them with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Prosecutors said he victimized nine kids, five of whom were exposed to HIV. He targeted both male and female children between two and eight years old.
Brown sexually assaulted children who were in the care of acquaintances, and gave those children drugs and alcohol, according to the sex offender registry.
He was not allowed to have contact with minors after his release or frequent places where minors regularly congregate.
He was paroled in 2004. His original sentence was 16 years, which means he would have gotten out of jail in 2009 whether his parole was denied or allowed.
At the time of the attack, Brown also had an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.
Then this past summer, he darn near kills an innocent kid:
[Brown] faced numerous charges including attempted murder, kidnapping and assault following a harrowing and bloody attack July 1 on a 10-year-old boy inside the Wendy's location on NE Sandy Boulevard.
After Brown grabbed the boy inside the Wendy’s restaurant, the boy fought back, and Brown then pulled him into a bathroom, tried to sexually assault him and stabbed him.
The boy's father tried to open the door but had to get the manager to unlock it. At that point, Brown opened the door, shoved the injured boy outside and then locked himself inside the restroom. Several people who were in the restaurant held the door shut until police arrived.
The boy was cut several times and was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery.
Brown has been sentenced to 33 years. How many will he serve? And even when he's much older, why in heaven's name would we ever, ever want this man back out on the street? How many chances does society give him?
And how did he wind up in a Wendy's restroom victimizing another child? He'd violated his parole, repeatedly, and everyone knew he was dangerous as hell. Why wasn't there somebody with a badge and a gun tracking him down and locking him back up? As Maxine Bernstein at the O reports:
In December, a social worker from the hospital's mental health unit recommended Brown be placed in a residential treatment program because he wasn't taking his psychiatric medication, failed to comply with outpatient treatment and was in really "bad shape," state records show.
He has been sent to jail seven times for violating the conditions of his post-prison supervision. Most recently, a warrant was issued for his arrest June 14 after he failed to report to his Multnomah County parole officer on June 6 and couldn't be found at Portland's downtown Henry Building, where he was supposed to be living, according to state records.
Was anybody out there in law enforcement really looking for him on July 1? It sure doesn't sound like it:
Multnomah County investigated why Brown wasn't wearing an electronic monitoring device at the time of the attack and who was watching him and how often.
A spokesman for Multnomah County Community Corrections said Wednesday the investigative report will not be released because it is protected by attorney-client privilege.
Brown was monitored with an ankle bracelet when he was released from the Oregon State prison on parole in Douglas County in 2004.
Brown was in and out of trouble in Roseburg after violating his parole with drug use and by having contact with children.
He came to Multnomah County in December 2010 where Brown again continually violated parole.
In February this year, following another violation, Brown's parole officer recommended Brown be sent to jail for four months and placed on electronic monitoring when he was released.
But Multnomah County did not use the trackable GPS devices even after the repeated violations.
The last time Brown was sanctioned was in April and he spent 90 days in jail. Two weeks after his release, Brown attacked that 10-year-old boy at Wendy's.
Community Corrections spokesman Hank Stern said knowing Brown's history he probably would have just cut the GPS device off or tampered with it anyway.
To us, that just isn't an acceptable response. If the bracelets don't work, then some other type of monitoring should be in place for a guy this deranged and dangerous. And if they do work, then the county ought to be using them.
We're also highly skeptical of the "attorney-client privilege" line being used to hide the investigative report. That privilege shields confidential communications between a lawyer and his or her client. It can be waived by the client. In this case, the only client appears to be the county. And if there's any information in that report about communications between Brown and his lawyer, then his privilege has been waived.
It's high time that that report be made public, and that a serious public conversation be had about what we're doing with human garbage like Adam Lee Brown when we won't lock it up any more. Hey, Farquaad Cogen -- this means you.