OCDA FILES SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PETITION TO HAVE VIOLENT, CONVICTED CHILD RAPIST LAWRENCE BROWN CIVILLY COMMITTED

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case #: M-13906





 

January 18, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

OCDA FILES SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PETITION TO HAVE VIOLENT, CONVICTED CHILD RAPIST LAWRENCE BROWN CIVILLY COMMITTED

 

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office filed a petition today to have violent, convicted sex offender Lawrence Joseph Brown, 52, civilly committed as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). Brown was released on parole in Orange County on Nov. 17, 2010, after serving 25 years of a 49-year sentence for brutally sexually assaulting two young girls after kidnapping them in broad daylight. He was arrested less than an hour later for violating his parole and was transported back to Chino State Prison, where he is currently in custody on the parole violation. The SVP petition was filed today, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, and Brown will be transported to the Orange County Jail for a hearing Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-58, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.   

                                                

Brown’s November 2010 prison release was vehemently opposed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, State Senator Lou Correa, Chief Scott Jordan of the Tustin Police Department (TPD), Chief Paul Walters of the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), and Chief Dave Maggard of the Irvine Police Department (IPD). At that time, these law enforcement partners publicly and sharply criticized the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for failing to take the proper steps to protect the community by submitting a Request to File a Petition with the OCDA, which is required by law in order for the OCDA to legally file an SVP petition.

 

Under the law, inmates are subject to DMH mental health reviews once they have completed their criminal sentence.  The People may file a petition to have the defendant civilly committed if the mental health evaluators determine the inmate meets the criteria of an SVP. There are three criteria that must be met in order to designate a person as SVP. First, the defendant must have committed at least one sexually violent offense.  Second, he/she must be diagnosed with a mental disorder.  Finally, it must be found that he/she is likely to re-offend unless he/she is held in custody and treated. 

 

Two evaluators must reach the same opinion that the inmate meets the SVP criteria in order for the OCDA to file an SVP petition. If the evaluators disagree, a second pair of evaluators will conduct mental health reviews of the inmate. If the evaluators determined the inmate meets the SVP criteria, a Request to File a Petition is submitted to the OCDA, who is then authorized to seek civil commitment. A jury is presented the evidence to decide if the inmate is a continued threat to the community, and if the criteria (above) are found true by the jury, the inmate is admitted into a mental care facility. 

 

Despite exhaustive efforts by the OCDA, DMH failed to submit the necessary request and accompanying documentation for Brown prior to November 2010, making it legally impossible for the OCDA to file an SVP petition against him at that time. Extensive research, investigation, and efforts by the above-mentioned agencies led to the re-arrest of Brown and a change of opinion by a prior negative evaluator. As a result, the OCDA was legally able to file the SVP petition against Brown. His case will be heard before an Orange County jury at a time that is to be determined.