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Man’s mental capacity gets him probation after having sex with teen

Crime Watch

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Ian Lynn Brown | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man who walked five miles in the middle of the night to have sex with a teen will spend years on probation after pleading guilty to rape.

Ian Lynn Brown, 28, was sentenced on Aug. 3 by District Judge Dane H. Watkins to spend 15 years on felony probation after pleading guilty to the crime. Watkins opted to place Brown on probation while suspending three to 18 years in prison.

In court, Bonneville County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Alayne Bean shared how Brown has a learning disability that puts him at the mental level of a 10-year-old.

“Without that, it’s a prison case,” Watkins said at sentencing.

Court documents show that while on house arrest in an Ammon group home, Brown met up with a 15-year-old girl in September 2019. The two had sex, but neither the victim nor Brown indicated the sex was forceful.

Under Idaho law, a minor cannot legally consent to sex with an adult, thus making the sexual activity a crime.

RELATED | Ammon man committed lewd act with teenager while on house arrest, police say

Although Bean said Brown feels remorse, during a pre-sentence investigation, Brown placed blame on the victim because of “her persistence” to get together.

Brown is at a moderate risk to re-offend, Bean said, although several evaluations put him at above-average risk.

With Brown’s previous struggle while probation and distaste for complying with rules, Bean asked Watkins to place Brown on a retained jurisdiction or rider program.

A rider is where a defendant spends time in a prison facility to receive extensive treatment before coming back to the judge to either go back to prison and serve a sentence or go on probation.

Public Defender Rocky Wixom said in court that because the victim is a few years older than Brown’s mental capacity, probation is the best option.

“There is no way our prison system is set up to treat and take care of 10-year-olds,” Wixom said. “That is not what the criminal justice system is for.”

Brown had nothing to say at sentencing. He will have to register as a sex offender. Brown is also subjected to sex offender treatment and special conditions, including control on his relationships and no use of the internet.

“We have a young protected victim … that may exceed that of the intellectual ability age of the offender,” Watkins said. “There are complexities associated with those facts in that statement that make this case very challenging.”

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