PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man has been sentenced to 18 years for raping a child.
Anthony Ray Brownfield, 54, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree rape of a child on July 12 after three days of testimony. He was sentenced on Thursday.
The now-adult survivor, who law enforcement said was first raped when she was 5 years old, spoke directly to Brownfield with a few people beside her in support at the sentencing.
“The only future I saw for myself was one with a rope,” the survivor said.
“Trauma has played a major role in my life, something I’ll have to work on the rest of my life.”
Judge Lauren Erickson of the Clallam County Superior Court said Brownfield’s actions were “appalling” before she ruled for the maximum recommended sentence of 218 months from the Department of Justice.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson had sought an exceptional sentence of 25 years (300 months) as the jury determined there were aggravating factors where the victim was vulnerable and sustained a prolonged pattern of sexual abuse.
“He preyed on (her) for years,” Roberson said. “It only stopped because a child made a decision to stop seeing a close family member … His conduct resulted in emotional and physical harm to a child who carried it into adulthood.”
Brownfield’s release would be conditional to the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) for his rape convictions as the quasi-judicial board may opt to keep him in prison longer, or for life.
Erickson said her sentencing decision was appropriate as Brownfield had no known further criminal activity following the offenses with the relative, and his release is subject to the ISRB.
She also ordered no contact in any capacity with the relative for life.
If released, Brownfield will be on community custody for life, and must register as a sex offender.
His survivor, at the sentencing, encouraged Brownfield to seek mental health treatment, saying, “You are sick.”
“I thought for a long time it was my fault and you let other people think it was my fault … you were the adult and you knew better.”
She ended saying she’s “learning how to forgive myself” and that she loves and forgives him.
The woman initially accused Brownfield of molestation and rape in 2016 but didn’t proceed with charges. She did proceed in 2019 with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, and messages between her and Brownfield were obtained in 2020 by detectives where he is documented as apologizing for his actions.
Brownfield told detectives, which was played via recording in trial, that he sexually abused her 30-50 times, and was hallucinating from drug use.
The woman said Brownfield would have her recreate adult magazine scenes, and when she was 8, she realized his actions were wrong. She testified in trial about two other incidents, as well.
As the survivor spoke, Brownfield kept his head down and hands on his head. He later apologized to his family “for the embarrassment I caused” and the “pain I caused.”
Brownfield’s defense attorney Alex Stalker asked Erickson for the low-end sentence of 13-and-a-half years (162 months) as his last crime was 17 years ago, he had healthy adult relationships with people in that span, it’s unlikely he’d reoffend if released, and the ISRB would still have to determine if he could be released.
Brownfield’s parents spoke on behalf of their son during the sentence hearing about his deeds in the community, such as saving a friend in a boating incident and helping strangers without thought. His mother apologized to the woman.
Roberson said what the young woman went through was traumatic.
“Her decision to move this forward, that in itself was traumatic, knowing she had to relive those experiences with complete strangers …,” he said.
“He dehumanized a 5-year-old girl and turned her into just a thing for sexual needs.”
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.