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Ware man pleads guilty to child rape charges

  • Walter Brown, 74, of Ware, is led away from Hampshire Superior Court after pleading guilty to two counts of child rape on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.  STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

Staff Writer
Published: 11/26/2019 11:34:40 AM

NORTHAMPTON – A Ware man pleaded guilty to two counts of child rape in Hampshire Superior Court on Monday and is facing more than a decade behind bars in relation to the case.

As part of a plea deal, Walter Brown, 74, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated rape and abuse of a child under the age of 16. Judge Richard Carey stayed his sentencing until Jan. 23, a day after Brown is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on related charges in the case. Carey announced his intention to sentence Brown to 10 years in prison on both counts, to be served concurrently.

Ten years is the mandatory minimum for the charge and was requested by Brown’s defense attorney, Marissa Elkins. Assistant District Attorney Linda Pisano had requested a sentence of 10 to 12 years in prison on each of the two counts.

“But for the defendant's age the commonwealth would obviously be seeking a substantial sentence in connection with this case,” Pisano said in court. 

Brown was arrested on July 14, 2017, and has been detained ever since. Carey said that he intends to give him credit for time served when he is sentenced.

In October, Brown pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22, and Pisano said in court on Monday that the federal sentence will be 15 years, which will run concurrently with the state sentences.

The charges in federal and in superior court stem from incidents in 2017 involving a then 15-year-old girl.

Pisano said that Brown had sexual intercourse with the girl, the origin of the rape charges, and also had the girl make sexually explicit videos for him. She also said that Brown paid the girl.

In relation to the case, Claire Poole, of Monson, a woman known to the victim, pleaded guilty earlier this year in Hampshire Superior Court to two counts of accessory before the fact of rape and abuse of a child under the age of 16 and was sentenced to 8 to 8 ½ years in prison.

Poole was also sentenced to 125 months in prison in U.S. District Court on one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. The federal sentence runs concurrently with her state sentence.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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