A former Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy accused of official misconduct and of transferring sexual images and videos of a woman from her dead boyfriend’s phone to his own phone pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Ron Brown, 58, is charged with three counts of first-degree official misconduct and one count of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image. All are Class A misdemeanors.
According to a press release in October 2022 from the Deschutes County District Attorney’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.
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Instead, the DA’s Office said, Brown transferred the items to his own phone.
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.
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 previously announced that Brown was placed on administrative leave in January 2022 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.