Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Harsher charges levied against Ronald William Brown, puppeteer accused of having child porn

TAMPA — Federal prosecutors have brought new charges against a 57-year-old Largo puppeteer accused of owning child pornography and musing online about his desire to kidnap, cook and eat a boy from his church.

The new indictment, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, is the latest twist in the highly publicized saga of Ronald William Brown.

Marked by a distinctive mix of cannibalistic fantasy and professional puppetry, Brown's tale ranked high on this year's unofficial list of Florida's strangest criminal cases.

A longtime resident of Whispering Pines mobile home park in Largo, Brown was arrested in July based on federal agents' accusations that he possessed a gruesome set of sexualized images depicting dead children. Agents also said in a criminal complaint that Brown had plotted online with a Kansas resident to cannibalize a boy from Gulf Coast Church in Largo.

Last month, Brown unexpectedly rejected a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office that his defense lawyer, Eric Kuske Leanza of Tampa, said would have resulted in a six-year prison sentence. The new indictment filed by federal prosecutors Thursday is a predictably severe response.

Each of the eight child pornography charges now lodged against Brown could result in approximately 20 years in prison, depending on the age of the children in the images he possessed. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life incarcerated, particularly if a judge chooses to issue "consecutive" or cumulative sentences for each count.

Brown's trial is set to begin in January. Leanza has filed a motion seeking a postponement.

Leanza did not return calls for comment Thursday.

The eight felony counts in the new indictment allege that Brown received multiple lewd images of children and possessed computer equipment containing child pornography.

Court documents filed by prosecutors state that a search of Brown's mobile home uncovered "hundreds of images of child pornography including various images showing children being bound and tortured" and "hundreds of images of deceased children."

The indictment filed this week is harsher than an earlier charging document, which included only one count of possessing and one count of receiving child pornography. Nevertheless, the latest allegations do not touch on the most sensational accusations at the time of Brown's arrest.

In addition to the porn charges, federal agents initially arrested Brown on a charge of conspiring to kidnap a child.

Brown was an active volunteer in the church's youth ministry, performing for congregants with his sizable array of puppets. He had also been a puppeteer on a Christian Television Network show for kids called Joy Junction.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Harsher charges levied against Ronald William Brown, puppeteer accused of having child porn 12/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Democratic ad: Adam Putnam is 'silent' on GOP health bill

    Blogs

    Democrats are trying to attach Adam Putnam to the GOP’s unpopular plans to replace Obamacare.

  2. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing

    Outdoors

    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?

    Ml

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  4. Florida's death row population lower today than it was in 2005

    Blogs

    The last person executed in Florida was Oscar Ray Bolin on Jan. 7, 2016, making him the 92nd person to be executed since Florida resumed capital punishment in 1979. The last condemned inmate to join death row , convicted double-murderer Craig Wall of Pinellas County, arrived on June 6, 2016.

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison
  5. Adele may never tour again: read her emotional note

    Blogs

    Adele is wrapping up a monster world tour, and it sounds like it took a lot out of her. 

    Adele left this note in her tour program, and fans posted it on Instagram.