Stephen Connor Brady, 20, the son of former Bunnell City Commissioner Jenny Crain-Brady, was arrested on Nov. 19 after an 18-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in mid-afternoon on Nov. 17.
The Palm Coast woman told Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies that Brady had asked her to come over to comfort him as his relationship with another woman had just ended. Just after getting to Brady’s house, the woman reported, Brady “pulled her into his bedroom” and allegedly pushed her on his bed, preventing her from getting up. She told deputies that Brady began unbuttoning her jeans against her protest, and that he was upset she would not perform oral sex on him.
He then allegedly rolled her over, pulled her jeans down and digitally penetrated her. The woman said she told him to “stop what he was doing multiple times,” attempted to move away from him or remove his fingers, “to no avail.” Brady’s hand was then allegedly covered in blood, prompting him to go to the bathroom to wash his hands and giving the woman the opportunity to leave the house. According to Brady’s arrest report, he then called or sent text messages to the woman, asking her to return and apologizing to her after she told him she was in pain.
The alleged victim was examined by a SANE (or sexual assault nurse examiner) nurse at Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, who told a sheriff’s investigator that she observed trauma along the lines of bruising and scratching within the victim’s vagina.
“Through investigative methods,” the arrest report states, Brady allegedly “admitted to ‘being a little too aggressive with [the victim],’ ‘kinda [taking] things way too far,’ and for ‘not listening when [the victim] said stop.’” The arrest report quotes Brady’s words but does not specify the origin of his statements, though at the time the deputy had not made direct contact with him, suggesting that the statements may have been made through text messages to the victim: a court order reveals that a search warrant had been obtained to search Brady’s phone, which has since been returned to him. (Update: On Nov. 27, a judge vacated the previous order that would have returned Brady’s personal property to him.)
The deputy met with Brady two days later at Brady’s home, on Nov. 19, where–after being read his Miranda rights–Brady “admitted” to the sequence of events and to continuing his act after the woman told him to stop. He was then placed under arrest and charged with sexual battery, a second-degree felony, and booked at the Flagler County jail. (His booking was recorded just after 6 a.m. on Nov. 20). He posted bail on $10,000 bond the next day and was released.
“This is an ongoing investigation but the evidence shows the suspect took advantage of this victim and that the woman said ‘no’ and continually tried to remove herself from the situation,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued by his agency. “‘No’ means no! Our victim advocates are assisting the victim as this case moves forward.”
“I have been falsely accused,” Brady wrote on his Facebook page. “My God and law team got this,” he wrote, referring to his Daytona Beach attorney, who immediately filed a motion for bond in which he described Brady as a lifelong resident of Volusia and Flagler with no prior criminal history, a student at Daytona State College with two jobs–tree-trimming and laying sod–and that he lives with his mother. (She was a Bunnell city commissioner from 2007 to 2014.) “I understand things like this I’m guilty until proven innocent. But I have a strong case. Thank you for your support and prayers,” Brady continued in his Facebook post.
Brady is under a no-contact order regarding the victim. His arraignment is set for Jan. 14 before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Brady was arrested on the 17th, as opposed to the 19th.