Counselor accused of sexual assault pleads not guilty
MILWAUKEE — 27-year-old Darryl Brownlee, a “Violence Free Zone Counselor” at Groppi High School, accused of sexually assaulting a student waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, May 9th, and pleaded not guilty. This case is now headed for trial.
Brownlee is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student between January 2012 and March 2012. Brownlee has been charged with sexual assault of a student by school staff.
Brownlee passed several background checks and has no criminal history.
The criminal complaint in the case says the victim told investigators she and Brownlee became Facebook friends and would communicate through Facebook. The victim says they then exchanged phone numbers and would talk and send one another text messages. The victim says shortly after the two became Facebook friends, Brownlee asked her to come to his apartment and spend the night. The girl said Brownlee told her to delete their text message conversations.
The girl told investigators Brownlee lived in an apartment near 29th and Highland in Milwaukee. The girl said she went to Brownlee’s apartment in January or February after Brownlee picked her up and drove her to his apartment. The girl said the two smoked a marijuana blunt and watched television, before Brownlee drove her to her sister’s house.
The girl said some time after that incident, she drove over to Brownlee’s apartment and the two were watching television when Brownlee pulled down her pants and put his mouth on her vagina. The girl said Brownlee then had sexual intercourse with her, and the girl slept over at Brownlee’s apartment that night.
The complaint says the girl told investigators she and Brownlee had sex about 20 times – always at Brownlee’s apartment except for one incident, which occurred at the group home where Brownlee worked near 48th and Burleigh.
Milwaukee Public Schools released a statement on the matter Wednesday, May 2nd. It reads, “As soon as we became aware on April 20 of the allegation against the person you referenced, we removed him from his placement at one of our schools. That happened the same day. He has not worked in any of our schools since.”
Brownlee was employed as a Violence Free Zone counselor through Running Rebels. The organization released the following statement to FOX6 News: “We are saddened by the situation and our #1 priority is the safety and well being of all students. We are fully cooperating with Milwaukee Public Schools and sincerely hope that the acts of one individual do not negate the excellent work being done by thousands of youth workers across the country, and here in Milwaukee.”
Brownlee was fired from his position with Running Rebels.
Brownlee will be back in court on Tuesday, May 29th. If convicted of the sexual assault charge, he could face six years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.