A former Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy is facing multiple official misconduct charges and is being accused of transferring sexual images and videos of a woman from her dead boyfriend’s phone to his own phone.
The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office announced Ron Brown, 58, faces three counts of first-degree official misconduct and one count of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image.
According to the press release from the DA’s Office, Brown was called to the scene of a death on Sept. 28, 2021. While investigating, Brown spoke to the girlfriend of the person who died. She allegedly asked Brown to delete sexual photos and videos of her and her boyfriend from her boyfriend’s phone so that his family wouldn’t see them.
Instead, the DA’s Office said, Brown transferred the items to his own phone. That has prompted a charge of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image and Official Misconduct in the First Degree.
Then on December 30, 2021, the DA’s Office said the woman was being evicted from a motel and that motel management wasn’t allowing her back into the room to gather her belongings.
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The woman called Brown for help, the DA’s Office said, because she trusted him. Brown responded, spoke to motel management and allegedly stated he was there on law enforcement business. He retrieved the woman’s belongings. The DA’s Office said that constituted a crime of Official Misconduct in the First Degree.
The DA’s Office said Brown then called the woman and asked her to meet him in the parking lot of a restaurant parking lot. When she arrived, Brown allegedly told her to get into his sheriff’s office car. There, she allegedly saw Brown watching pornography on his phone. This also led to a First Degree Official Misconduct Charge.
Central Oregon Daily News is not identifying the woman.
The sheriff’s office also announced Monday that Brown was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 12 and his gun and badge were taken away. The sheriff’s office said it then opened an internal investigation and Oregon State Police began the criminal probe. Brown has since retired from the department, the sheriff’s office said.
Brown’s first court appearance is set for Nov. 29.
District Attorney Hummel said in a statement that Brown remains innocent until proven guilty. But he did not hold back in chastising the former deputy.
“Shame on Ron Brown,” Hummel wrote. “Our community entrusted him with a badge, handcuffs, and a gun on the condition that he would use the authority we granted him to keep our community safe. Instead, the evidence shows he weaponized the trust we put in him by taking advantage of someone who was particularly vulnerable due to her grief from losing her boyfriend. Additionally, Brown’s actions besmirch the reputation of the hundreds of excellent law enforcement officers in our community.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The original story indicated the first incident in the case happened on Aug. 29, 2021. That was based on court records. The DA’s press release said it was Sept. 28.)