Portage man gets 35 years for child sexual abuse

2014-01-30T20:30:00Z 2014-01-31T12:12:57Z Portage man gets 35 years for child sexual abuseJim Masters Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 30, 2014 8:30 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Portage man was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl and videotaping the abuse.

Kevin Paul Brewster, 41, rocked gently in his chair and avoided eye contact with the girl and her mother Thursday as they read statements in U.S. District Court asking that he never be let out of prison.

Brewster previously pleaded guilty to four counts of production of child pornography involving a girl under 12 years old, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

The girl, her amplified voice filling the courtroom, talked about the difficulty she has concentrating on classwork, being bullied by other girls at school and dealing with feelings of anger.

“I didn’t know what was going on was wrong,” she said. “I was so young, I didn’t know any better.”

Advocating for a life sentence, the victim’s mother told the court, “No amount of time behind bars will ever make this right.”

She added, “I fear he (Brewster) would come after me if he ever got out."

The sexual abuse occurred three to four times a week for at least three years until the girl was 9 years old, with Brewster videotaping numerous encounters, according to court testimony.

Brewster is accused of molesting another girl, beginning when she was 3 years old. He's facing state charges in that case.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Jill Koster, who presented a DVD and other physical evidence linking Brewster to the crimes, argued he is eligible for a life sentence under statutory sentencing guidelines. She said it may not be known for some time if Brewster distributed some of the pornographic material depicting himself and the girl in the federal case.

Koster said any argument that Brewster could not control his actions is invalid on the basis the crimes were intentionally committed while no other adults were present. She said he knew what he was doing was wrong because he told the girl not to tell anyone what happened and later denied any wrongdoing to the girl’s mother.

“This is the worst case I’ve ever brought before you for sentencing," Koster told Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen. "The worst I ever prosecuted."

Brewster’s defense attorney, Matthew Soliday, said his client has no criminal record, was sexually abused himself as a child and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, among other mental illnesses. Soliday reasoned that a life sentence would give Brewster no chance to turn his life around.

Other than letters previously submitted to the court, Brewster offered no testimony in seeking leniency. He will have to undergo a sex offender evaluation and counseling while in prison. Van Bokkelen also sentenced him to 20 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.

“I’m at a loss for words to convey the horrendousness toward this child," Van Bokkelen said.

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