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Petty officer has long history of domestic incidents

Navy Petty Officer Charles Brown left behind a trail of paperwork littered with accusations of both domestic and child abuse. The documents were apparently convincing enough that a judge recently granted Brown’s wife and three children protection orders against him and allowed them to leave the state.

Brown is also facing charges of raping, assaulting and stalking his wife.

Navy documents, information filed in a restraining order case against Brown, a letter from Child Protection Services and a police report show that the alleged cycle of violence in the family began nearly three years ago in Japan.

Yet there are some who are skeptical of the case against Brown. His attorney, Tom Pacher of Coupeville, said he couldn’t go into detail on the recent allegations, but he points out that Brown’s wife has been accused, and even arrested, on suspicion of abusing her husband.

“There is a lot more than meets the eye here,” Pacher said, “and some of it doesn’t add up in my mind.”

The paper trail begins in the fall of 2000. Brown’s wife reported to the Navy’s Family Advocacy Program in Japan, where the family was stationed, that she went to a hospital emergency room after her husband choked, beat and bit her. Afterward, a Navy review committee looked into the matter and found “the case to be substantiated for spouse physical abuse,” according to a letter from the Commander of Fleet Activities in Japan.

The committee recommend Brown attend a men’s group and anger management. The letter states that Brown’s “record has not been flagged.”

Navy officials have issued at least four military protection orders against Brown. On Nov. 19, 2001, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan ordered a no-contact order against Brown after he was accused of assaulting his wife and endangering their infant.

On Feb. 8, 2002, the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces in Japan wrote Brown a “nonpunitive letter of caution” outlining his history of domestic violence and reckless endangerment. The letter states an investigations substantiated that Brown grabbed and hit his wife in the fall of 2001 and put their son on the hood of her car when she tried to flee.

“Furthermore, the investigation revealed,” the letter states,”that numerous other acts of aggression between yourself and your spouse have taken place since reporting to this command in September of 2000.”

The Navy’s response to these substantiated cases of domestic violence, according to the letter, was to issue military protection orders and provide him with “clinical assistance and support.”

The letter goes on to state that despite the counseling, Brown “once again engaged in domestic violence” with his wife in January of 2002. “Your inability to avoid domestic violence situations is most disturbing,” the letter states, “and left unchecked may ultimately prove to be fatal for you, your spouse and your children. Your conduct while attached to this command has been reprehensible.”

Yet despite the harsh words, the letter was non-punitive. He and his family were transferred to Whidbey Island soon afterward.

The abused allegedly continued on Whidbey, according to documents written by a Northwest Justice Project attorney representing Brown’s wife. The document states that in July 2002, Brown pushed his wife to the floor, causing her to hit her head on the wall and lose consciousness.

In early 2003, Navy caught Brown wielding a knife at his wife, according to a police report. His wife was arrested.

On March 20, 2003, an argument over use of the bathroom escalated into a serious assault, according to the woman’s declaration for a protection order. The couple’s 5-year-old child got scared when Brown was assaulting his wife, the document states, and called 911. The woman obtained both a military and civilian protection order barring him from contacting her.

On April 4, 2003, a Child Protection Services supervisor recommended that Brown only have supervised contact with his children.

On May 5, Oak Harbor Police arrested Brown on suspicion of violating the protection order after Navy security caught him hiding in the closet of his home. The woman claimed Brown threatened her with a a knife and raped her repeatedly.

According to report by Sgt. Jerry Baker with the Oak Harbor Police, Brown denied raping or assaulting his wife in May.

He claimed that his wife was “setting him up,” Baker wrote. Brown admitted to the “events in Japan,” Baker wrote, “but blamed her for causing them.”

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