Police were warned rapist could reoffend 24 years ago. Now he’s charged again.

Salt Lake City, UtahChristopher Lee Browning is accused of assaulting a woman at her Taylorsville home on January 18, the same day he walked away from a transitional home. New records from KSL investigators show Browning had a long history of sex crimes.

‘He could commit another crime’

A brutal attack on a Provo neighbor in 1998 landed him in prison for rape and burglary. The police investigating this crime have dug deep into Browning’s past. Investigators found Browning had been convicted of raping a 40-year-old woman in Guam when he was just 14 years old. Information provided to police by adolescent psychiatric professionals found that Browning had also raped a 23-year-old ex-girlfriend and indicated that “he could re-offend”.

Eligibility for parole hearing

At a parole board hearing in 2018, Browning revealed other sex offenses, including another rape he committed when he was 13, for which he was never charged. He counted this woman among the four he had fallen victim to without getting caught.

20 years without treatment

At the same 2018 hearing, Browning also told the board that he had not yet had an opportunity to complete his court-ordered sex offender therapy. Three years later, in another parole board hearing, he said he started but was removed from the program because of his actions.

“I behaved messily,” he told the then board member.

Browning’s parole was conditional on his completion of that treatment program, which he completed in March 2022. He told the board shortly before his release that he had learned a lot about himself in therapy.

“It let me know where I’m going wrong or whether or not a situation should be involved,” he said. “It put me on a completely different path and helped me change my behavior.”

Disciplinary Measures

New details about his time in prison have emerged from records of Browning’s parole board hearings in 2018 and 2021. In addition to three previously reported assaults in 2019, 2021 and 2022, KSL investigators found that Browning was also disciplined for drug abuse, poisoning and possession of an explosive incendiary device while he was behind bars.

Neither of these incidents resulted in new criminal charges against Browning, and the Parole and Parole Board approved his release. He left Utah State Prison on December 6, 2022 after serving 24 years of a five-year life sentence.

The board declined the KSL investigators’ request for an interview, but did send a statement noting that Browning was being held in prison 18 years after the release date recommended by Utah’s sentencing guidelines.

KSL investigators have also requested an interview with the Utah Department of Corrections and will continue to press for answers and accountability.

Have you experienced something that you think is just not right? The KSL investigators want to help. Send your tip to [email protected] or 385-707-6153 so we can work for you.

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