A man accused of attempting to molest, then stab and strangle a 10-year-old boy in the restroom of a Portland Wendy’s restaurant Sunday is a notorious child abuser convicted 20 years ago in a Roseburg case that was the first of its kind in the nation. Adam Lee Brown was charged with using the AIDS virus to try to infect his young victims in Roseburg in 1992. Prosecutors said he sexually abused up to nine children ranging in age from 2 to 18 in his home that summer after plying them with drugs, alcohol and pornographic videos. A former Marine and lay preacher, Brown was indicted on 43 charges, including attempted murder and rape, but was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 1993 after he pleaded no contest to reduced charges of three counts of sodomy and reckless endangerment.
Adam Lee Brown pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted aggravated murder, assault, kidnapping, strangulation, coercion and attempted sex abuse accusations in connection with Sunday’s alleged attack of a boy in a Northeast Portland Wendy’s.
The plea deal was accepted to avoid putting his young victims through a grueling trial and because medical experts said at the time there was no way Brown would survive another 10 years, let alone two or three, due to his HIV status, said William Marshall, who prosecuted Brown then.
“We look back now and we know far different things,” said Marshall, now a Douglas County judge.
Brown served only 11 years of his sentence because of earned time and credit for time served.
Since his release from prison in 2004 as a predatory sex offender
, his behavior has been marked by repeated crimes: methamphetamine possession
, burglary, use of pornography, identity theft and furnishing alcohol to minors, as well as multiple “severe psychiatric episodes” that landed him in the emergency room at the Portland VA Medical Center.
In December, a social worker from the hospital’s mental health unit recommended Brown be placed in a residential treatment program because he wasn’t taking his psychiatric medication, failed to comply with outpatient treatment and was in really “bad shape,” state records show.
He has been sent to jail seven times for violating the conditions of his post-prison supervision
. Most recently, a warrant was issued for his arrest June 14 after he failed to report to his Multnomah County parole officer on June 6 and couldn’t be found at Portland’s downtown Henry Building, where he was supposed to be living, according to state records.
Adam Lee Brown, dressed in a suicide smock, pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, including attempted murder, first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree arson, coercion, furnishing false information to a police officer and four counts of first-degree assault. This video has no audio, per court’s instructions. Pool video by KATU.Watch video
In Sunday’s attack, Brown is accused of forcing a 10-year-old boy into a restroom of the Wendy’s on Northeast Sandy Boulevard about 2 p.m. and locking the door while attempting to touch the boy’s genitals, according to a criminal information filed in court.
When the boy fought back, Brown allegedly stabbed him in the neck, leg, thumb and hand with a knife and tried to strangle him, court records said.
Hearing the boy’s cries, his father tried to force open the locked door until a restaurant manager opened it with a key. Brown shoved the child out of the bathroom and locked the door again, police said. Restaurant patrons held the door closed until police arrived. Brown surrendered after a two-hour standoff.
On Monday, Brown, 49, dressed in an anti-suicide smock, pleaded not guilty in Multnomah County Circuit Court to attempted aggravated murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, kidnapping, two counts of attempted first-degree sexual abuse, coercion, strangulation and two counts of reckless burning. He also faced a warrant for violation of his parole conditions.
“It was already known he was out of compliance, and he was arrested ultimately under extremely unfortunate conditions,” said Jeremiah Stromberg, spokesman and board member of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. “He was out on post-prison supervision. He wasn’t confined to an institution. … Ultimately, he cannot be watched 24-7.”
Hank Stern, a Multnomah County spokesman, said the county will review the case closely. “They’re working as quickly as possible to learn what happened,” Stern said.
But Brown’s earlier victims and their relatives reacted with disgust and anger when they learned of the new allegations.
“This man should never have had a chance to get to this child,” said Ed Binder, whose daughter was 5 when she was sexually abused by Brown in Roseburg.
The Associated Press/1993Adam Lee Brown (right) confers with his attorney during a plea hearing in Douglas County Circuit Court in Roseburg in February 1993.
Brown’s own daughter, Ashley Thornton, was 7 when she was abused by her father. She’s now 27.
“Being one of Adam’s main victims 20 years ago, makes this like a buried nightmare brought back to life,” she said. “Eleven years wasn’t long enough for everything he did to me and the other kids in 1992.”
When released from prison in 2004, Brown initially was under Douglas County supervision. In 2009, he was cited by police for furnishing alcohol to a 20-year-old at Roseburg’s Bob’s Deli.
By April 2010, he moved to a temporary shelter in Multnomah County after he complained he had no housing resources in Douglas County. His Roseburg psychiatrist recommended Brown be transferred to Multnomah County supervision, citing harassment and “many roadblocks” Brown faced trying to integrate into Douglas County.
The psychiatrist wrote to the state that Brown deserved an “environment in which he can have a chance to fully rehabilitate and live without fear … where there are more resources for him.”
In January 2011, his supervision was formally transferred to Multnomah County, but his behavior didn’t improve, state records show. He received jail time twice in the last year and a half for violating conditions of his supervision.
He was sent to jail for 29 days in June 2011 for having the pornographic video “Bed Buddies” in his apartment, failing a polygraph, not reporting to his parole officer and gambling away his monthly Social Security check playing video poker.
This past January, he had ransacked the Quest Integrated Center for Health on East Burnside, where he received care. A TV was left on with a pornographic DVD playing, state records show.
His Multnomah County parole officer Tracey Madsen sent him back to jail for 90 days, from Feb. 16 through April 13 this year. He had failed to report to his parole officer, had methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during an ER visit to the VA Hospital, evidence of drug dealing on his cell phone and was convicted of identity-theft for stealing others’ mail in Coos County on Feb. 14.
Brown’s post-prison supervision was scheduled to last through October 2020.
Nancy Plambaeck, Brown’s ex-wife and mother of their two children who were abused by Brown, said she’s received at least a dozen notices from Oregon’s Victim Notification Service since Brown was released from prison alerting her that he was back in jail.
She received the most recent one at 5:08 a.m. Monday.
When she learned the details of his alleged Portland attack, she was dumbfounded that those who supervised him couldn’t have prevented it. “He’s been sent back to jail so many times since he’s been released,” Plambaeck said. “I mean red flag, after red flag.
“It just makes me want to cry, and vomit,” she said. “They should have never let him out … Now he should never get out. He should die in prison.”