Former Mercer County DTF director pleads to sex charges

LISBON — William F. Brown, the former director of the drug task force in Mercer County, pleaded no contest to two of the charges he was facing in connection to him seeking to hire a prostitute from an undercover agent with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

Brown, 58, Greenville, Pa., was charged with misdemeanor charges of engaging in prostitution, possession of criminal tools and attempted sexual conduct with an animal.

The attempted sexual conduct with an animal charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement, although Judge Katelyn Dickey ordered he is to have no more companion animals besides the one that currently lives in his home.

Dickey sentenced Brown to 180 days in jail with 120 of those days suspended. He was fined $800 and ordered to complete a 12-hour prostitution reduction course. He was ordered 40 hours of community service, but allowed to buy those hours out.

Assistant County Prosecutor Danielle Menning pointed out that when Brown came to East Palestine, he brought his official vehicle across state lines and despite his time in drug-related law enforcement, he said he was fine with the woman being high.

Defense attorney Nicholas Barborak said Brown has gone in search of why he would do this with several medical evaluations. It has been determined that not only may he have had a stroke, he may be in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

“This has been very difficult on him,” Barborak said. “He led a clean life, a lifetime of public service.”

Brown said he has spent half his teen years and all of his adult life involved in community service and believes the diagnoses may explain his lack of motor movement skills recently and his compulsiveness.

“This isn’t me your honor,” Brown said. “I understand on the face it looks bad, but that’s not me your honor.”

Brown was arrested on Nov. 29 by members of the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force after he allegedly made arrangements to meet a woman for sex in exchange for $300. Additionally, he reportedly said he was into beastiality and requested the woman find a dog to join them, stating he was interested in having sex with the woman after the dog had sex with her. He also allegedly had no problem with the woman getting high on narcotics during the sexual encounter.

When Brown arrived for the meeting, he reportedly had an ID in the vehicle showing he was a narcotics agent for the Pennsylvania office of the attorney general. Since 2018 he had also served as the chief of the volunteer fire department in West Salem Township, Pa., the Mercer County Station 73.



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