Former fire district volunteer guilty in sexual assault case

Jeremy A. Brady was sentenced to one year in the Boone County Jail
Friday, August 17, 2007 | 7:18 p.m. CDT; updated 5:38 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This story has been clarified to reflect that Brady no longer works for the fire district.

A Boone County jury on Friday afternoon found a former Boone County Fire Protection District volunteer firefighter guilty of one count of deviate sexual assault.

Boone County Presiding Judge Gene Hamilton sentenced Jeremy A. Brady, 23, to one year in the Boone County Jail and a fine that will be decided later, acting on the jury’s recommendation.

The 21-year-old victim, whom the Missourian will not name to protect her privacy, said Brady sexually assaulted her at Boone County Fire Station #15 early on the morning of July 15, 2006.

The jury of 10 men and two women deliberated for about an hour before returning the guilty verdict. The jury deliberated for 30 minutes before returning with the sentence recommendation.

“The first couple of months (after I was assaulted), I couldn’t sleep at all,” the victim testified during the penalty phase of the trial Friday afternoon at the Boone County Courthouse. “Every time I closed my eyes, I pictured him over me. I was really scared all of the time.”

She told the jury she lost more than 50 pounds in the two months following the attack, and has gained little of that back.

When Hamilton read the jury’s verdict, Gerald Mueller, Brady’s defense attorney, hung his head. He later declined to comment on the verdict and sentence.

Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Scholz could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Earlier on Friday, the jury heard testimony from Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Bob Brown, who collected sample swabs of Brady’s hands, and Ruth Montgomery, who analyzed the samples at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Forensic lab.

Montgomery said she found a significant sample of the victim’s DNA on Brady’s right hand.

The last witness to testify during the trial was Brady himself.

He told the jury that on July 14, 2006, he had made plans with a friend to go out and that the friend was going to spend the night in Brady’s room in the fire station.

“I had planned to be out of service for the weekend,” Brady said.

When they returned to the fire station, Brady said his friend was being obnoxious and he saw him leaving the victim’s friend’s room.

He said he tried to apologize to her friend, but he told him to go away.

Brady claimed in his testimony that he had consensual sex with the victim. He said he went to bed at 3 a.m. but got up 15 minutes later to use the bathroom. When he was returning to his room, he said, the victim was standing outside of his room.

Brady said she wanted to talk to him, but since his friend was asleep in his room, they went to her room. After talking for 10 to 15 minutes, he said he leaned over to kiss her but stopped. He said she then kissed him.

He said she did not resist his advances until he stuck his hand down her pants, which is when she told him to stop. He testified that he immediately left her room after that.

The victim testified Thursday that she woke up around 3 a.m. and she felt one of Brady’s hands on her breast and the other in her vagina.

During Scholz’s cross-examination, Brady was shown a video clip of his cell phone conservation while he was at the police station the morning of July 15, 2006. The clip showed him talking on his cell phone to his captain, Dave Hanks.

“We went out, had dinner, (her friend) took her home and that’s the only interaction I had with that girl,” Brady said.

But he later admitted that he had lied.

“I lied to Hanks but I never lied to law enforcement,” he said.

He also said the victim had made up the story to get money from the fire department.

During the penalty phase of the trial, Mueller called Brady’s parents to the witness stand. His mother, Sharon Brady, testified that her son was a good man.

Scholz said during closing arguments that she hit on an unfortunate truth in that statement.

“People who do good things are capable of terrible acts,” he told the jury. “This is something (the victim) is going to have with her for the rest of her life. No sentence that can be handed down can change that.”

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