SANTA ROSA – On May 20, 2021, William Brown, 41, of Santa Rosa, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison after pleading “no contest” in February to three felony sex offenses, including the rape of a victim who was under the age of 14.
In 2011, the victim reported being raped by an unknown male in the Hinebaugh Creek area of Rohnert Park. The victim had been visiting the area and was staying with family members at a local hotel. While walking to the hotel on a Sunday afternoon, Brown began following her. He then grabbed her arm and forced her down a path. Once secluded from the street, Brown forcefully raped her. After the assault, the victim fled and flagged down a passing officer and reported the assault. Shortly thereafter the victim underwent a sexual assault exam which revealed suspect DNA. The DNA was collected, tested, and compared to all samples contained in the national Combined DNA Information System (“CODIS”). However, there were no known matches at the time and the case went cold.
In 2018 the California Department of Justice notified the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety that a match had been made to the suspect DNA. Brown’s DNA had been collected and entered into the system as a result of an unrelated February 2018 felony arrest. Within a month, the California Department of Justice lab in Richmond discovered the match, resulting in Brown’s arrest.
“DNA is a powerful tool in solving investigations and those who work at California Department of Justice labs throughout California are to be commended for their contributions to public safety and criminal justice,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
During the investigation a second child came forward and reported several incidents of molestation by Brown. The defendant was subsequently charged and convicted of crimes committed against both of the children. In addition to serving time in prison, Brown will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.