A 50-year-old man has pleaded guilty to child molestation in a case that had been identified as one of about 150 investigations mishandled in recent years by Kansas City police.
Tommie Brown, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson County Court to first-degree child molestation after prosecutors accused him of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in 2007.
The girl did not report the crime until 2014, according to court documents. Police began an investigation, but the case languished while a detective did no work on it for a year or more, according to internal police memos obtained last year by The Star.
The case was one of many identified by the Police Department as not being worked properly during a period in which the department’s troubled Crimes Against Children unit experienced what one commander called a “systemic failure.” The Star first revealed the severity of the unit’s problems last year, showing that the department in late 2015 identified many “severely mishandled” cases, including “gross negligence” and even possible police deceit. Some cases sat unworked for a year or more.
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Brown was accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s granddaughter after luring her into a closet with a promise of candy, according to court records. The girl did not report the incident immediately because she was afraid her grandparents would split up.
Brown is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 24.