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DNA evidence connects man to two rapes of developmentally disabled men

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 24, 2021

An Airway Heights prisoner convicted of sexually attacking a developmentally disabled man is now a suspect in a rape of another mentally disabled man after DNA from the cases matched, according to court documents.

In October 2011, a developmentally disabled man living in a group home reported that he was lured out of the home into an abandoned house nearby and raped. The victim underwent a sexual assault exam, which led to a DNA match with 33-year-old Jeremy J. Brown, court documents say.

At the time, Brown told police he recognized the victim and had been to the group home but denied having sex with the man, according to court documents. Brown later pleaded guilty to residential burglary and third-degree assault with sexual motivation in relation to the case, court documents show.

In March 2012, another developmentally disabled man reported he had been raped and underwent an exam, the documents say.

The 2012 victim, whose mother described his cognitive function as similar to a child’s, said he was in jail when he met the suspect in his rape. The victim noticed the suspect staring at him in jail. The victim told police that, once he was released, he saw the same man outside his apartment building, again staring at him, according to court documents.

Outside of the apartment building, the suspect told the victim he wanted to go on a walk to meet the suspect’s grandmother. The two walked to Riverfront Park. There, the suspect told the mentally disabled man he owned a gun and raped him, according to court documents.

In both the 2011 and 2012 cases, the victims described their attackers as a Black man with a thin mustache, though the 2011 victim estimated his height as around 5-foot-11 and the 2012 victim estimated his rapist was 5-foot-3, the documents say.

In 2017, a Washington State Patrol crime lab scientist found that some DNA samples from the 2012 victim were not eligible to search against perpetrator DNA uploaded in the CODIS system, which collects DNA samples extracted from rape kits.

Then, in January 2020, a crime lab scientist found DNA captured from a separate swab could be searched in the system, and that sample matched Brown’s DNA, according to court records.

Brown, a prisoner at Airway Heights Corrections Center, is not expected to be released until 2024. He is 5-foot-10 and has had a thin mustache in several jail booking photos, according to court records.

Friday, a judge signed off on a warrant requesting cheek swabs from Brown to analyze his DNA. Brown had not been charged in connection with the 2012 case as of Tuesday.

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