Sentence upheld for Indiana pilot serving time for child exploitation

Robert Brown’s girlfriend found disturbing photos, videos on his iPad last year
Former Indiana pilot Robert Brown pleaded guilty in 2020 to child exploitation and was...
Former Indiana pilot Robert Brown pleaded guilty in 2020 to child exploitation and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.(LMDC)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 8:44 AM EDT
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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (News & Tribune) - The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied a sentence revision for a New Albany pilot serving 30 years for child exploitation.

Robert W. Brown Jr., 50, was arrested in January 2020 after his girlfriend found on his iPad multiple photos and videos of children being sexually abused, and reported it to police. Investigators say they found thousands on multiple devices spanning seven years.

Initially charged with five felonies, Brown pleaded guilty last fall to three level 4 felonies for child exploitation for images he said he got from the internet, and was sentenced by then Floyd County Superior Court No. 1 Judge Susan Orth to 10 years for each count, to run consecutively.

While awaiting trial, Brown was charged in two more cases — for obstruction of justice and disobeying a no-contact order. Investigators say that while in jail, he wrote letters to the ex-girlfriend who had found the files and called her mother more than 250 times, saying that if his ex would marry him she wouldn’t have to testify against him. Police say he also threatened her.

In the plea agreement, these two related cases plus two felonies for possession of child pornography were dropped.

In his appeal earlier this year, Brown’s attorney stated that the judge failed to take into account that Brown had a good education and no criminal history, that he had pleaded guilty to three of the charges and that he himself had been sexually abused as a child.

In its response Wednesday, the Indiana Court of Appeals stated that Brown’s sentence was appropriate, and that he had already received a benefit from the state with the other charges dropped.

The brief calls Brown’s actions “appalling,” and made reference to the “thousands of videos and images over seven years” that were part of the original charges and court documents.

“Brown’s electronic devices contained collections of child pornography with individual images numbering in the thousands,” it reads, in part. “The child pornography contained disturbing and horrifying images and videos of young children forced to engage in sexual acts...”

The court of appeals also did not take lightly Brown’s additional charges while in custody.

“Brown’s violation of the no-contact order indicates disdain for the court’s authority,” the brief said.

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