Trial begins for Lexington officer facing misconduct charges

gkocher1@herald-leader.comDecember 17, 2012 

Robert Dale Brown

Testimony began Monday in the trial of a Lexington police officer charged with misconduct for allegedly receiving sexual favors from a woman and failing to charge her with a crime after finding drug paraphernalia in her purse.

Sgt. Dale Brown is charged with one count of first-degree official misconduct and two counts of second-degree misconduct. The charges stemmed from incidents that allegedly happened on Dec. 9, 2011.

Brown is accused of driving April Stinson to a remote location in eastern Fayette County with the intent to obtain sexual favors. That same day, Dec. 9, 2011, Brown also failed to file charges against Stinson after finding a marijuana pipe in her purse.

Brown also is charged with failing to file charges against Stinson's fiancee, Brian Kazee, who was found with narcotic pills in his pocket. Brown arrested the man for driving on a suspended license, even though Brown did not witness the traffic infraction.

According to city policy and state law, police do not file charges for infractions they don't witness except in cases of shoplifting, fourth-degree domestic violence and driving under the influence of a motor vehicle.

Brown was relieved of sworn duty and suspended without pay on July 12. In a lawsuit filed in federal court a couple of weeks ago, Stinson accuses Brown of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping and false arrest.

In his opening statement, Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts said "this case is about the abuse of authority."

But Roberts said the case "is not a 'he said, she said' case" because cellphone records and other documentation will show that Brown violated policy and the law.

However, defense attorney Steve Schroering said in his opening statement that "it's going to be crystal clear that Dale Brown is not guilty of anything."

For example, forensic examinations of the back seat of Brown's patrol cruiser — where he allegedly had sex with Stinson — will show that investigators found nothing, Schroering said.

Initial testimony heard Monday came from Kazee, three police officers who worked with Brown and a former Lexington officer who formerly worked with Brown.

Lt. Scott Blakely read a memo that Brown had written about the incident involving Stinson.

After Brown put Stinson in the back of his cruiser, Stinson had told him "that she would do anything to keep from being arrested," Brown wrote in the memo.

Brown's memo said he ignored these pleas because "I thought she was trying to set me up."

Stinson later told other officers that Brown had "opened up his wallet" and asked her "how much?" testified Officer Jervis Middleton.

But Stinson said she had replied to Brown that "I'm not that kind of girl," Middleton testified.

A jury of five women and three men was seated to hear the case. Two alternate jurors will be dismissed before the jury begins deliberations.

Fayette District Judge Kim Wilkie is presiding over the trial.

Initially, Wilkie and the attorneys said the trial was expected to last four days. But that time line could be shortened because testimony had proceeded so well Monday.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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