Brown sentenced to 150 years to life

LIMA — A Lima man convicted of 19 counts of rape and other sex-related charges was sentenced in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Monday to serve 150 years to life in prison.

Matthew Brown, 33, initially refused to enter the courtroom Monday — Brown reportedly feared for his mental health and safety, according to his attorney, Carroll Creighton — until he was ordered to appear by Judge Jeffrey Reed.

The courtroom was packed with supporters of the 14-year-old victim, many of whom dressed in T-shirts proclaiming: “their fight is my fight,” a reference to sexual assault survivors.

“I will never forgive you for anything that you did to my baby,” the boy’s mother told Brown on Monday. Brown shook his head in response, mumbling “you’re a liar,” as the boy’s mother finished reading her victim-impact statement for the court.

Brown declined when offered the chance to speak, as Creighton said his client intends to appeal.

Reed sentenced Brown to a minimum of 150 years in prison for rape, attempted rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition, though several charges were merged at sentencing and will be served consecutively.

In addition, Brown must register as a Tier III sex offender, requiring him to register his home address and place of employment with the county sheriff’s office for the rest of his life, and will be subject to a minimum of five years post-release control should he ever be released.

Brown previously declined a plea deal from prosecutors in July that would have dropped all but a single count of rape—a first-degree felony—as well as one count of attempted rape and three counts of sexual battery, all second-degree felonies.

Weeks later, a jury found Brown guilty on all 19 counts, which arose from repeated, unwanted sexual conduct with a minor between May 2019 and November 2020.

Brown will have 30 days to submit an appeal.

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Everhart represented the state Monday.