South L.A. physician found guilty on 21 sex assault charges
Dr. Kevin Brown, a prominent South L.A. physician and son of the former premier of Bermuda, was found guilty Monday of 21 charges related to sexually assaulting nearly a dozen patients, including a 15-year-old and an undercover Los Angeles police officer.
A jury deadlocked on eight other charges and several were dropped last week by the L.A. County district attorney's office.
Jury deliberations began Thursday after a nearly three-week trial.
L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Marie Wise had said Brown used his Crenshaw Boulevard practice as "his personal playground," where anyone who went in "was his prey."
Lawyers in the case painted a strikingly different portrait of the defendant, accompanied daily during his trial by his family, including his father, Ewart Brown, who also operated a South L.A. clinic before returning to Bermuda in the 1990s to become the Caribbean island's leader.
They also allege bias because one of the women was the niece of an LAPD officer.
Prosecutors relied heavily on testimony of the alleged victims because no physical evidence was ever collected and some of the women waited years to report Brown.
As details of the sexual assaults emerged in court, it became clear that Brown's stature in the community was an issue for some witnesses. Wise told jurors that some were reluctant to report Brown because he was a respected doctor.
One woman who claimed Brown had kissed her and touched her inappropriately during a 2005 exam said she wrote the doctor a letter urging him to seek spiritual help.
That letter was later found in her medical records and portions were read in court. "They gave him every opportunity to change his ways," Wise said.
But Brown's attorney insists authorities had a vendetta against the doctor and would stop at nothing to convict him.
-- Ricardo Lopez at L.A. County Superior Court
Photo: Dr. Kevin Brown in court during closing arguments in his sexual assault trial on Aug. 10, 2011. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press