5 Browns father pleaded to 3 charges, but could have faced hundreds, report says

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 6 2011 4:36 p.m. MDT

Keith Brown, right, talks to his sister-in-law before a hearing in Provo's 4th District Court on Feb. 17, 2011. Brown, the father of the musical group The 5 Browns, is serving prison terms for sexually abusing his daughters.

George Frey, Associated Press

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PROVO — The extent of the abuse suffered by the women of The 5 Browns when they were juveniles may have been worse than previously reported.

Newly released documents show that police had originally recommended that prosecutors file 600 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child against father Keith Brown for his actions against just one of the three sisters in the group of piano playing siblings.

Before, police and prosecutors had not specifically indicated the extent of the abuse suffered by the sisters, only saying it had occurred when all of the girls were 13 or younger, and that the abuse was ongoing between 1990 and 1998.

In February, following a spectacular car crash in Little Cottonwood Canyon, word of an investigation into the father of The 5 Browns started to emerge. It was later learned that Keith Brown was already set to enter a plea deal just before the car crash happened on Valentine's Day of this year.

But according to newly obtained records, Lone Peak police began investigating Brown on May 5, 2010.

The three Brown sisters came forward first to the Utah County Attorney's Office, which then passed the case to the Lone Peak Police Department for investigation. The girls claimed they had suffered "several years of sexual abuse" from their father while living in Alpine, according to a heavily redacted police report released Tuesday.

Lone Peak detectives met with the Brown sisters on June 30, 2010, along with an investigator from the FBI because "some of the abuse may have occurred in other states," the report states.

The women told authorities "they feel terrible about bringing this information forward." But because their father was about to start giving lessons again to young children, the sisters were "concerned these things may begin to occur with some of these clients," the report states.

Each of the women was interviewed individually by detectives. What they spoke about was redacted from the report.

The Brown sisters also gave investigators email conversations with their father that they had saved about the abuse. A total of five emails were handed over to police.

The police investigator who wrote the report said several "very interesting statements" were discovered in the emails from Keith Brown to his daughters. Those statements were redacted from the public documents.

At the conclusion of their investigation, Lone Peak police recommended 600 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child against Brown for abuse suffered by one of his daughters. The recommended number of counts for the other daughters on all other charges, including object rape and forcible sexual abuse, is unknown.

Brown, 55, struck a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty to sodomy on a child, a first degree felony, for which he received a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. He also was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison for each of two counts of sex abuse of a child, both second-degree felonies. He was ordered to serve the sentences concurrently.

While the Deseret News does not typically identify victims of sex crimes, the Brown daughters have publicly acknowledged the abuse.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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