Detention center supervisor charged with aggravated sodomy and sexual assault against people in custody
By Connie Green, Staff Writer, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, December 4, 1986

A young man testified today that he walked in on James Lee Brown, a former DeKalb Juvenile Detention Center supervisor, having sex with his adopted son several years ago.

Patrick Reed, 23, a friend of the son, also testified that he had sex with Brown himself and that Brown was jealous of him because Brown thought he was trying to take his son away.

Brown, 38, of 2391 Dawn Court in Decatur has been charged with three counts of aggravated sodomy, five counts of sexual assault against people in custody and three counts of sodomy. He is on trial in DeKalb Superior Court this week.

Three of the four alleged victims, who range in age from 15 to 19, were inmates at the detention center where Brown worked as a supervisor.

His adopted son was placed in Brown's home as a foster child when he was 9 years old. Now 19, the young man has testified that the sexual abuse of him by his adopted father began soon after he was placed in the home. He testified this morning that Reed had walked in on him and his father engaged in a sex act, whereupon Brown also had sex with Reed.

Reed testified that he "felt bad" to see Brown having sex with his son. "I didn't believe a father could do his own child like that, " Reed said.

Reed, who acknowledged that he is homosexual and was at the time, said that at first he did not want to have sex with Brown, "but I did it."

Reed said that while he had no problems with Brown being gay, he felt a father should not have sex with his son.

Reed said he feared for the adopted son because Brown had hit him on occasion. He said he urged the son to write a letter including everything Brown had done to him since he first moved in with him.

"I told him if something happened to him, I would have something to give to the authorities," Reed said. "His father was jealous of me. I was not trying to take his sonfrom him. I was trying to be his friend."

Reed said he never reported Brown for having sex with him because it was his private business. "I didn't think anyone should know what I do," Reed said.

On cross examination, defense attorney Henry Johnson showed Reed a statement written by the son on Sept. 10, 1984, the day the son reported the alleged sexual abuse to Fulton County authorities.

Johnson asked Reed if he had signed the letter and he said yes.

The son had testified earlier today that he had signed his name, Reed's name and another friend's name to the letter.

The son testified Wednesday evening that he is now homosexual because of nine years of sexual abuse by Brown.

"The first time it happened, I was highly upset and embarrassed, " the adopted son told a DeKalb Superior Court jury Wednesday. "He built a sense of fear in me. He told me once if I ever make a wrong move, he would strike me to the ground.

"I feel I am homosexualbecause of him," the son said. "I never thought about this before the alleged sexual abuse began."

Defense attorney Johnson tried to make the adopted son admit that he had reported Brown as a sexual abuser because he was angry with him about money.

"Isn't it true that every night before you made that call, you would go over to the Brown house demanding the Social Security check?" Johnson asked the boy.

The son said he did go to the Brown house to get school clothes but not to demand money. He admitted that there had been a dispute about money in the family that arose because he was concerned that the Browns were spending money from a Social Security check that was rightfully his.

In other testimony Wednesday, another alleged victim said Brown molested him last July at the DeKalb detention center, where the youth was serving time on a simple battery charge. He said one night while he was sleeping, he felt someone fondling him, and he woke up and started struggling.

The alleged victim said Brown told him "it's no sense in getting in an uproar because I'm not going to hurt you." He said Brown attempted to have oral sex with him, but gave up after he kept resisting.

"He told me there's no sense in telling because no one would believe me," the 17-year-old said.

The alleged victim said he never told anyone until a DeKalb police detective came by asking detention center inmates whether they had any problems with staff members. "I felt real embarrassed. I didn' t even want to tell my mom," he said. "I felt like he was trying to take my manhood."

Johnson suggested that both of the young men may have had selfish motives for falsely accusing Brown, and questioned their character.

Johnson asked the 17-year-old whether he was a member of the Down By Law youth gang and whether he used drugs. The young man denied being involved with the gang or taking drugs.

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