Indictment accuses man of rape, lewd conduct

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County grand jury is indicting a Sandpoint man on charges of rape and lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Joseph Duane Brown was arrested on a $50,000 arrest warrant on Sunday and made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Monday via videoconferencing with the jail. Judge Tera Harden sustained Brown’s bail and appointed a public defender to represent him. Brown, 20, indicated that he understood the charges that were brought against him and questioned whether he would be credit for time served.

“You do receive credit for any time you are incarcerated,” Harden replied during the brief hearing.

A no-contact order in the case is pending.

The grand jury’s indictment charges Brown with two counts of rape and one count of lewd conduct. The alleged misconduct occurred between August and September of last year, when the alleged victim in the case was as young as 14 years old.

No other information about the case is available due to the inherent opacity of grand jury proceedings, which are conducted behind closed doors with jurors sworn to secrecy.

The grand jury found there was probable cause to justify a jury trial, which eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing in magistrate court.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned in 1st District Court on May 20.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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