Marion County Sheriff's Office. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
A Salem man is suing Marion County, one former and one current sheriff’s deputy, claiming the deputy violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they allegedly stole from his home during an investigation and pawned some of the items.
Charles Raymond Brown Sr. was investigated by Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy Sean Banks after a thumb drive containing child pornography was found at Brown’s job site in 2016, according to the lawsuit filed on July 23. Brown alleges Banks stole $10,000 worth of items when Banks searched his home months later.
Banks was arrested in July 2018 for theft and evidence tampering related to a separate incident and resigned from the sheriff’s office six months later. Brown’s charges – ten counts of first-degree encouraging child abuse – were dismissed when Banks was arrested.
Now, Brown is seeking more than $460,000 in damages.
The sheriff’s office initially began investigating Brown after a thumb drive containing pictures of an underage girl was found on the floor of a forklift on March 25, 2016, the suit claims.
Brown’s attorney, John Burgess, couldn’t be reached for comment. Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeremy Landers said the sheriff’s office wouldn’t provide comment on an open case.
When Banks received the thumb drive and Brown’s computer, he didn’t turn them in to evidence until 10 days later in an effort to tamper with evidence and steal from Brown, the suit alleges.
Brown later told Banks, a detective, he didn’t know where the images came from.
On August 22, 2018, Banks and deputy Annastasia Rejaian searched Brown’s home and the suit alleges they stole guns, a TV, a gaming console, a guitar and other items. It further alleges Banks pawned some of the items. Rejaian is still employed at the sheriff’s office.
When Brown was released on bail three days later, the suit said he couldn’t find his keys or guns in his home.
Months later, the complaint said Brown got the images from the search warrant, which pictured an empty gun locker in an attempt to hide the theft, the suit claims.
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