Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that an Erie County jury has convicted 51 year-old Virgil Brown of Predatory Sexual Assault Against A Child after a week-long jury trial before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. This is the highest charge for which the defendant was indicted and could have been convicted.
On September 2, 2012, the defendant anally sodomized a 9 year-old boy in an abandoned house on Howard Street in the City of Buffalo. Brown lured the victim, who had been walking his puppy, into the house and anally raped him. At trial, the defense argued the police investigation was shoddy and suggested that because the child was violated from behind, he was likely mistaken about whether a penis was being repeatedly thrust into him. The jury rejected these claims, as evinced by their 15 minutes of deliberation before reaching a guilty verdict. It should be noted that over the last 18 months (i.e. from the time of his arrest until trial) four different attorneys, all at taxpayer expense, were assigned to represent the defendant.
Although it was not admissible as evidence in his trial (i.e. the jury didn’t get to hear about it), Brown is a registered sex offender from the state of Washington. In 2007 he was released on parole after serving a 12 year prison sentence for, shockingly, the forcible rape of another juvenile. Brown faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years-to-life when sentenced by Judge Case on April 14, 2014.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lynette Reda, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Special Victims Bureau. DA Sedita also lauded the efforts of SANE Nurse Rebecca Roloff, retired BPD Sex Offense Squad Detective Nicole Jones, and Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory scientist Kristen Betker, stating: “Because of their dedication and professionalism, a depraved and vile sexual predator has been brought to justice.”