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Paynesville Press - October 31, 2001

Paynesville man charged with criminal sexual conduct

By Linda Stelling and Michael Jacobson

A Paynesville man - who served as an extracurricular advisor at Paynesville Area Middle School - has been arrested and charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Authorities allege that Shane Brown, 26, made sexual advances to a 14-year-old middle school student at his house on Lake Avenue and while driving her home on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Brown was charged with a count of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and another count in the fourth degree in Stearns County District Court on Friday, Oct. 19. The prosecutor alleges that Brown made unlawful sexual contact with the girl at a time when she was less than 16 years old and at least 48 months younger than Brown. The second degree charge is because Brown was in a position of authority over the girl.

Brown was released on a $3,000 bond with the conditions that he have no contact with the girl or with any minors except his own children. He also must not be at home when daycare children are present or be at any school where minors are present.

The school district has suspended Brown's contract as an advisor for the Future Leaders of America until further notice, according to superintendent Howard Caldwell. Brown had started his second year as the advisor for the middle school FLA program.

The license for Noah's Ark Daycare, the daycare business that Brown's wife operates in their Lake Avenue home, was suspended as of Wednesday, Oct. 24, said Paul Weinmann, a licensing supervisor for Stearns County Human Services, which oversees daycare facilities. Their department is also conducting a separate investigation of the daycare facility, he said.

Brown, according to the investigating officer of the Stearns County Sheriff's Department, asked the girl, who he advises in FLA, to help with the daycare business that afternoon. After the daycare children were gone and his wife went to church, Brown allegedly made advances and physical contact with the girl, first in the basement and the kitchen of his home and then during the car ride back to her home.

An investigator for the sheriff's department spoke with the girl on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and with Brown on Thursday, Oct. 18. From that conversation, the investigator reported that Brown admitted to putting his lips on her bare stomach but denied the rest of the girls' allegations.

Brown faces up to 25 years imprisonment and up to a $35,000 fine for the second degree charge. He faces up to 10 years imprisonment and up to a $20,000 fine on the fourth degree charge. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Thomas Knapp.

Attempts by the Press to contact Brown about the case were unsuccessful.

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