EVERETT — A former church youth minister from Marysville has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service and two years of probation for fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.
Kyle Richard Brown, now 28, was charged in 2019 with second-degree child molestation. The alleged abuse happened between 2011 and 2015, when Brown worked in “leadership roles” at Marysville First Assembly Church, now known as The Grove Church, according to charging papers filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Charges described him as a pastor and the director of Youth Ministries at the church. According to a statement from the church released this week, Brown was “never a pastor of any kind at the Grove Church in Marysville,” nor was he a full-time employee, though he held “small, part time roles at various intervals.”
The victim, who was about six years younger than Brown, told police most of the alleged abuse started when she was 11, just after her father died.
At the time, she attended the church’s youth group almost weekly. The victim told police the abuse occurred away from the church, except for one instance during a church camping trip, according to court papers.
She often tried to stop Brown, but couldn’t because of his size, the charges say.
The molestation stopped when she was 14 and stopped attending the church, she told authorities. She later decided to tell her mother, a friend and her new pastor about Brown because of his continued work with children.
Brown, of Marysville, pleaded guilty last month to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.
At a sentencing hearing this week, deputy prosecutor Tyler Scott and defense attorney Michael Andrews presented an agreed sentencing recommendation of community service and probation for Brown.
“The affidavit of probable cause and the claims of the victim and her parents are not an accurate portrayal of what actually occurred over a decade ago when Mr Brown was a teenager,” Andrews told The Daily Herald. “Juvenile horseplay … has been transmuted and warped into something it was not.”
Andrews added that “Brown regrets any harm he may have caused in his youth.”
The defense attorney presented the judge with 11 letters written by family and friends of Mr. Brown, asking the court to grant him a lenient sentence. One of the letters was written by Brown’s wife. She wrote that she and Brown have two young daughters and he is a dedicated father.
“Because of the charges, (Brown) lost his employment,” she wrote. “Since then, he has put everything he could into building a general contracting company.”
The deputy prosecutor declined to comment on the case.
Marysville First Assembly Church is now called the Grove Church. Lead pastor Nik Baumgart sent The Herald a written statement on behalf of the church:
“The Grove Church and its leadership is grateful that resolution has been found in the situation involving Kyle Brown. We continue to pray for all parties involved in this matter,” Baumgart wrote.
“… As soon as The Grove became aware of the allegations, we removed Kyle from any role(s) with the Grove Church. The Grove Church takes these kinds of allegations extremely seriously and will investigate any and all such allegations swiftly and with diligence.”