Update: Keith Brown pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of first-degree felony sodomy and two counts of second-degree felony sexual abuse says a report from the Salt Lake Tribune. According to Brown's lawyer, he first confessed to a religious leader from his Mormon church before going to the authorities.
We talked to Karen Watassek, public relations manager for Houston's Society for the Performing Arts, who worked with the Browns on two separate occasions when the musical group performed in Houston. Her comments after the jump.
The Five Browns, siblings Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody and Ryan, are usually in the news for their musical abilities, but today they're in the headlines for a very different reason: Keith Brown, their father, has been charged with one count first-degree felony sodomy of a child and two counts of second-degree felony sodomy of a child. While court records didn't identify the victims, Gawker.com and other news sources are naming the three Brown daughters as the abused children. Court documents listed the offenses took place between 1990 and 1997. In 1990, Desirae, the oldest daughter was 11-years-old, while Deondra and Melody were 10 and six-years-old, respectively.
All five Brown children were born in Houston. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon family moved to Utah around the time abuse allegedly began.
Keith Brown and his wife Lisa were in a car accident on Monday night when their car flew off of a 300 foot embankment. Both were rescued and admitted to the hospital for care. There seem to be no indications that the accident was a failed suicide attempt, but reports indicate officials were suspicious of the circumstances.
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Update: Karen Watassek, the public relations manager for Houston's SPA, first heard of the scandal when she opened her iGoogle homepage and saw it as People.com's top headline. She says, "I about fell out of my chair and literally did a double take." Having spent time with the entire family, she was shocked at the news. Watassek said, "They were incredibly professional; there was no indication of anything."
Watassek offers optimism amidst an otherwise melancholy situation stating, "because of their talent and bond as siblings I really feel like this is something they can overcome."
(Nathan Paulus contributed to this story.)