- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

PROVO, UTAH (AP) - His voice barely audible, the patriarch of the acclaimed 5 Browns classical music group said “guilty” to each charge of sexually abusing his three daughters when they were children.

Thursday’s admission in a Provo courtroom means that Keith Brown, 55, will go to prison for at least 10 years.

None of the sisters were in court, but a statement issued to The Associated Press by group spokesman Kimball Thomson said they were satisfied with the plea agreement.

“While clearly the current events surrounding the family are painful, the sisters were well prepared for this day, and are relieved and grateful to close this chapter in their lives,” Kimball said.

Brown’s three daughters and two sons are part of the classical piano group The 5 Browns, whose albums have topped the classical music charts and who have appeared on “Oprah” and other shows. The group also has been profiled by “60 Minutes.”

Brown appeared in Fourth District Count with scratches and bruises on his face but with few other signs of the horrific crash three days earlier in which his Porsche plunged 300 feet into a canyon, also injuring his wife.

“He is terribly remorseful for what has happened and for what he has put his family through,” defense attorney Steven Shapiro said after the hearing. “He recognizes that this is the next step in the long road to trying to accept responsibility for something terrible that he did a long time ago.”

Brown did not speak further during the hearing and declined to answer questions from reporters afterward. He remained free until his sentencing on March 31, after prosecutors said they do not consider him a threat.

Brown chose to enter the plea to bring a quick resolution to the case and did not want to “exacerbate the harm” by dragging out the proceedings, Shapiro said.

Utah County prosecutors charged Brown with one first-degree felony count of sodomy on a child and two second-degree felony counts of sexual abuse of a child.

He could face a sentence of up to life in prison on the first-degree felony and up to 15 years each on the second-degree felonies. Under the plea deal with prosecutors, he will serve at least a decade in prison.

The records filed Feb. 10 in the abuse case don’t identify any victim by name or indicate the relationship between Keith Brown and the alleged victims.

However, Thomson said the charges involve Brown’s daughters and group members Desirae, 32, Deondra, 30, and Melody, 26. He declined to release further information on the women.

The Associated Press does not generally identify people who say they were sexually abused, but the Brown women have chosen to be identified and are cooperating with police, Thomson said.

Kimball said the Brown sisters appreciate the respect shown to them by police and prosecutors, who sought their input at each stage of the case. He said none of the Brown siblings want to talk publicly at this time.

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