Santa Rosa, CA – May 20, 2021 – Defendant William Brown, 41 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced today by the Honorable Robert Laforge to serve twenty years in state prison after pleading “no contest” in February to three felony sex offenses, including the rape of a child victim, who was under the age of 14.
In 2011, the 14-year-old victim reported being raped by an unknown male in the Hinebaugh Creek area of Rohnert Park. The victim had been visiting the area and was staying with family members at a local hotel. While walking to the hotel on a Sunday afternoon, Brown began following her. He then grabbed her arm and forced her down a path. Once secluded from the street, Brown forcefully raped her. After the assault, the victim fled and flagged down a passing officer who aided her in reporting the assault. Shortly thereafter the victim underwent a sexual assault examination which revealed suspect DNA. The DNA was collected, tested, and compared to all samples contained in the national Combined DNA Information System (“CODIS”.) However, there were no known matches at the time and the case went cold.
In 2018 the California Department of Justice notified the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety that a match had been made to the suspect DNA. Brown’s DNA had been collected and entered into the system as a result of an unrelated February 2018 felony arrest. Within a month, the California Department of Justice lab in Richmond, CA, discovered the match, resulting in Brown’s arrest.
During the investigation a second child came forward and reported several incidents of molestation by Brown. The defendant was subsequently charged and convicted of crimes committed against both of the children. In addition to serving time in prison, Brown will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Leslie Butori, who was assisted by District Attorney Victim Advocate Gladys Wheeler. Officer Tara Douglas and Lieutenant Jeff Justice of the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety headed the investigation.