Mineral Wells Area News

Man Found Guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child,Gets Life in Prison

Man Found Guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child,Gets Life in Prison
June 11
19:49 2023

By Amy Bearden / Mineral Wells Area News

TRIGGER WARNING: The following report is graphic in nature and contains details presented at the trial of a man accused of sexual abuse of a child. If you suspect a child is being abused, please call the Texas Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-5400

Palo Pinto County District Attorney Kriste Burnett and her team presented a case in Judge Michael Moore’s 29th District Court against a man accused of continually sexually abusing his daughter.

Charges against 42-year-old Geoffrey James Brown included one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child and five counts of Indecency with a Child by Contact. It took a jury of eight women and four men less than an hour to deliberate and convict him on all six charges and decided he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

Geoffrey James Brown walking the stairs to the courtroom Photo By Amy Bearden

The jury listened to three days of testimonies from law enforcement agents, forensic interviewers, medical experts, Brown’s ex-wife and two of his children. The evidence presented was not easy to hear and the DA was thankful the jury did the job her team asked of them.

“Those men and women had to listen to some extremely difficult testimony and evidence that I am sure was well outside their comfort zone. They did so attentively, and gave careful consideration to all of the evidence before reaching their verdicts,” said Burnett.

Discovering the Abuse & Presenting the Case

Geoffrey Brown was arrested by the Palo Pinto County Sheriff on December 13, 2021 after “out-cry” statements were made by his biological daughters, alleging Brown had been sexually inappropriate with his girls for several years, specifically over a time frame spanning from October 2019 to October 2021. He pled not guilty and remained in custody until his trial began on June 5, 2023. Brown maintained his innocence, even turning down a plea offer of 25 years in prison.

In October of 2021, Amy Brown, the defendent’s wife of 16 years, was alerted that her 17-year-old stepister who was staying with the couple and their five children at their home just west of Mineral Wells, was claiming some very disturbing information. She was told by another family member that Brown had lured the girl into their bedroom closet and inappropriately touched her breasts.

Amy’s maternal instinct kicked in and she immediately gathered the children and left the home. She called a friend from church and asked if she would watch the kids for her as she composed herself to confront Brown.

During her testimony Amy Brown was asked by prosecutors about her state of mind upon learning of the closet incident, and she said she was “in absolute shock” and her sister’s young age of 17 made her “concerned of what else he could be doing.”

Upon getting her kids to safety, Amy decided to confront Geoffrey Brown, who initially denied the closet incident with her step-sister. She then decided to ask her children one by one, if anyone had ever touched them inappropriately or made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

She started with her youngest daughter EB, who was just seven years old at the time. When asked if someone had touched her, EB said yes and told her mom it was dad. Amy asked where she was touched and the girl pointed to her chest and between her legs.

Amy then asked their 14-year old daughter TB the same question and learned that dad had touched her inappropriately as well. Amy also spoke with their three boys and said they “looked like a deer in headlights” when questioned, alluding there was no abuse done to them.

Amy Brown immediately alerted local law enforcement and an investigation quickly began following the girls “outcry statements” to their mother. The Children’s Alliance Center of Palo Pinto County was alerted to the “outcry statements” and works with investigators to assist and conduct Forensic Interviews in crimes against children. The CAC trains professional interviewers for child sexual assault victims.

Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Chief Investigator James Goodwin was the first witness to take the stand for the state and explained to the jury that he spoke with Amy Brown on October 29, 2021 and immediately set up interviews with CAC and didn’t meet or speak with the victims initially.

“We don’t want to retraumatize the kids by seeing more police officers,” said Goodwin.

He told the jury that he interviewed Amy Brown and after the Forensic Interview results from CAC as well as a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam conducted by Cooks Children’s Medical Hospital, Goodwin said there was evidence of wrongdoing.

Goodwin reached out to Brown on December 10, 2021 and let him know he was under investigation. He agreed to voluntarily come in for an interview on December 13. When he arrived, Brown was told he could leave at any time.

“The purpose of any investigation is to make sure we get to the truth. I wanted to have a candid conversation with him to make sure we have all the information from every angle,” Goodwin said.

“My goal with Brown was to get him to began to relax and open up about the situation,” Goodwin said. “He told me his relationship with EB was very open. It was normal to dress and undress and shower with her.”

Goodwin went on to describe what Brown told him had happened in the shower with EB just a couple months prior to the interview and realized a criminal against a child had occurred.

“Mr. Brown told me that EB requested to take a shower with him, and while in that shower, Geoffrey describes his penis was erect, because he said that was normal for him in the shower, and while in the shower, he said that his penis may have fallen in his daughters mouth because she is the right height. And that was because he had soap in his hair and didn’t realize what was happening,” said the detective to the jury.

Goodwin said that when he questioned Brown about touching TB’s breasts, the defendant “explained he was showing her how to do a breast exam.” Brown told Goodwin that TB came to her dad upset about her breasts being different sizes. Brown told the investigator that he consoled her by having her remove her shirt and bra and while he was touching her breast, showed her how to do an exam.

“It sounds like he was downplaying it or minimizing it as you indicated earlier,” said Assistant DA Kason Mobley to Detective Goodwin.

“That was an educational moment he thought in his mind,” said Goodwin. “Everything was justified. He even went on to say say some of this may be Amy’s fault for some of the shows she watches.”

Goodwin also asked Brown if his daughters had a reason to make any of this up or if they were honest girls and Brown repeated “They are not liars.”

The Jury watched the entire interview between Brown and Goodwin.

Brown told Goodwin that he had to get to work to his new job and was allowed to leave. Goodwin knew he had enough information for a charge of sexual assault of a child and obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Brown was arrested later that morning at his job in a cell phone store in Weatherford and was transported back to Mineral Wells where he was taken to the Justice of the Peace Precinct #5 to get the magistrate warning by Judge Tisha Bien and to read him his rights to an attorney. This seems a moot point but eventually becomes relevant as the defendants attorney argue that Brown seemingly indicated a request for an attorney, which was overruled by Judge Moore.

Amy Brown took the stand next and recounted her conversations with her 7 year old daughter about the abuse. “When I asked EB how often it happened, she said more than once. When I asked her if it hurt, she said sometimes it hurt and sometime it tickles,” recounted the girls mom. She said her daughter also said dad would touch her with his penis.

Amy told the jury of an incident in the first few years of their marriage when Brown went on a walk with her then 15-year-old cousin and ended up kissing and touching her back in 2008.

She also told the court when she finally confronted Brown about the closet incident alleged by her step-sister, he admitted it was true. She hired an attorney and flied for divorce. Brown came to the house gather his things and Amy Brown said she just kept asking questions and demanding answers from him.

“I just kept asking questions and staying strong in it and I just said, ‘Have you touched our kids,'” Amy told the jury. “I finally just came out with it.”

Amy told the court that Brown then fell to his knees and said “I’m so sorry.” She took it as a confession and worried for his mental health and feared he would harm himself he was so distraught.

District Attorney Kriste Burnette asked Amy about a problem in their marriage that the jury learned of in the interview between Detective Goodwin and Brown.

“We hear the defendent talk about a problem with porn in an interview,” said the DA. “Did he watch a lot of porn in your marriage?”

“Yes, he had an addiction too it.”

“An addiction to it? Why do you say that,” Burnett asked.

“Thats what he called it,” said Amy. “It was a big struggle for us. I would find it on his phone. I remember he even said the reason for the cousin situation was because I wouldn’t let him watch it.”

The DA asked Amy specifically about her husband watching “Hintai” or Anime and asked her to explain what that meant.

“It’s Japanese porn. Its animated. Its anime,” she said, indicating it was just cartoons so she would agree to watch with him. “It was still uncomfortable but better than looking at real people, right?”

Amy said she eventually stopped agreeing to watch it with him.

Palo Pinto County District Attorney Kriste Burnett

Amy said the family moved around a lot but came to Texas in 2018 and first lived in Copperas Cove before the family moved to Mineral Wells in 2020 where they lived when the allegations were made in 2021. Amy Brown told the jury that all of the children were homeschooled and participated in a Classical Conversations Program as well as attended Community Christian School for a short amount of time.

Following the Amy’s testimony, Forensic Interviewer Kaitlyn Cothrum of the Children’s Alliance Center took the stand to tell the jury her findings when she conducted interviews of the girls.

“Both girls identified their father Geoffrey Brown as their sexual abuser,” said Cothrum.

Following the Cothrum’s testimony, both of Brown’s daughters, bravely took the stand and had to identify their father as their abuser and recount the events they had endured. Cothrum’s recount of her Forensic Interviews of EB and TB were consistent with the girl’s statements and testimony heard by the jury.

Brown was found guilty of continual sex abuse of a child

Next on the stand for the prosecution was Department of Public Safety Special Agent Tony Galliton. He stated he was called in by the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office to help investigate the situation and was the first person to interview Brown after he was arrested and read his rights at the JP’s office. Galliton let Brown know that at anytime he wanted an attorney he could request one or he could stop the interview process. Brown even signed a form saying he understood his rights. The interview was filmed and played for the jury.

In the video, the investigator establishes rapport and the defendant begins to open up about the accusations and the jury hears details about a game Brown would play with EB that they called “Watch it Grow.” Brown also alluded to the investigator that the young girl was the agressor “often grabbing my penis” and he also admitted to “just rubbing the outside and didn’t penetrate her vagina.”

The Forensic Invterview indicated differently.

Also in the interview with Galliton, Brown indicated that he would watch an adult anime show with his older daughter TB, who would later testify to the jury that it made her uncomfortable and the show depicted women characters harmed by demons and ripping their clothes off to show nudity.

Brown also gave details of giving breast exams to TB and in her testimony refuted her dad’s claims of wanting him to examine her. She also told the jury his hugs made her uncomfortable because he would press his lower body into her.

The final witness to take the stand against Brown was Dr. Jamye Coffman, Medical Director of the Cook’s Children’s Child Advocacy Resource and Evaluation(CARE)Team. For 20 years she has led the specialty clinic for child abuse victims seeking a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE) at Cook’s. Her staff conducted exams of the two victims in the case.

The DA asked Dr. Coffman to explain the legal definition in Texas of penetration and why it matters. Evidence presented in the forensic interview indicated that the legal definition of penetration did occur in the case of EB.

Coffman also told the jury that an activity known as grooming was a concern in these cases. “Grooming is an activity with a child to get them accustomed to sexual contact. A gradual process to get them to look at sexual content to normalize it,” she said. “Accidental touches are often used to see the reaction of the victim.” She went on to say watching adult cartoons sexual in nature can be a grooming technique.

The prosecution rested their case against Brown on Thursday and his attornies Mike Burns and Eddie McClendon took their turn at defending Brown.

They called JP Tisha Bien to the stand and indicated they were questioning their clients magistrate process because they think he indicated he wanted a court appointed attorney. Particularly they said their client “shook his head about wanting an attorney and said he didnt have any money,” said Burns about the magistrate process with JP Bien.

The prosecution objected to a an irrelevant document being admitted as evidence saying he “He did not unequivocally invoke his rights” and a head shake is not an answer. Brown also had the opportunity to stop the interview with Special Agent Galliton at anytime and signed an acknowledgement of the procedure of his rights. The Judge sustained the objection.

“You can not invoke your right the day after you talk and not expect statements of the defendant to not be used,” said Judge Moore.

The defense rested their case after giving Brown the opportunity to take the stand, but advised him against it.

In closing arguments, Assistant DA Kason Mobley reminded the jury “How brave these young girls were to face their father.”

Burnett closed with, “What dad introduces their young daughter to “Watch it Grow” games? What kind of dad is doing breast exams on his 14-year-old daughter?”

It took less than an hour for jurors to find him guilty on all 6 charges but still had to sentence him. DA Burnett asked the jury for the maximum penalty on all charges.

“Don’t feel guilty for your guilty verdict. We are here only because of Browns actions,” she said. “I’m asking you to max him out.”

As Amy Brown sat on the front row awaiting the sentence, she was surrounded by the staff and advocates of the Children’s Alliance Center already celebrating this victory. Now they all awaited to see if he would ever be able to hurt another child.

And now we know he won’t!

The jury sentenced Geoffrey Brown to Life in Prison for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child (with no parole option ) and 20 years and a $10,000 fine on the remaining five counts of Indecency with a Child.

Burnett went on to rave about the jury.

“They truly did stand in the gap for not only these victims but all citizens of Palo Pinto County. For that, the victims and their family members as well as my office are grateful,” she said. By their verdict, this jury assured all of us the this child predator will never have access to another child to repeat his pattern of abuse.”

The CAC staff was elated as well and Director Linda Porter-Bradford was all smiles.

“I am extremely proud of our staff at the Children’s Alliance Center and our devoted partners who work tirelessly to ensure safety and justice for the children of Palo Pinto County,” exclaimed Porter-Bradford

Amy Brown was given an opportunity to read an impact statement to her former husband before he was taken from the court room. It was a a strong emotional statement that her and the kids would go on without him and that she forgives him of his actions because that is the right thing to do. At the moment she mentioned forgiveness, Brown nodded his head at her, showing the only emotion he displayed the entire trial.

Amy has remarried and relocated her family to another state and CAC says they have transferred the future care of the victims and their family to another advocacy center in their new location.