Chilmark police arrest Dorchester felon on rape charges

Bryant K. Brown shown in this booking photo from the Dukes County Jail. — Photo courtesy of Dukes County Sheriff's Department

A Dorchester man with a history of felony violence sits in the Dukes County Jail on $300,000 cash bail awaiting his next court date, after his arrest Monday morning for the brutal multiple rape and assault of an Oak Bluffs woman in a rented inn cottage in Chilmark.

Chilmark police arrested Island weekend visitors Bryant K. Brown, 33, of Dorchester and his girlfriend Latoya Gatlin, 28, of Roslindale, after an Oak Bluffs woman called 911 early that morning and told police that Mr. Brown had held her against her will and assaulted her over the course of Sunday night and Monday morning.

Mr. Brown was arraigned Tuesday morning in Edgartown District Court on charges of kidnapping, indecent assault and battery on a disabled person, three counts of aggravated rape, assault to rape, assault to murder, and threat to commit a crime.

Mr. Brown was previously convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault to kill. He received a three- to four-year state prison sentence on the latter charge, according to court records, and he served time in MCI-Cedar Junction prison.

Tuesday morning in court, standing before Edgartown District Court Judge H. Gregory Williams, Ryan Searle, Mr. Brown’s defense lawyer, requested bail in the amount of $1,000. Assistant district attorney Laura Marshard requested $250,000 and no contact with the victim or trespass. Judge Williams set bail at $300,000 with no contact and no trespass.

Ms. Gatlin, who, police said, claimed to have been passed out in the room while the assaults occurred, was arraigned on minor drug charges, for possession of marijuana with intent to sell and defrauding an innkeeper, after the credit card she used to pay for the room was declined.

Ride offered

The 28-year-old victim had left a local bar and was walking home Sunday night when Mr. Brown and Ms. Gatlin offered her a ride in their rented Corvette convertible, according to the police report.

The victim said she liked the car. She was new to the Island and unaware of the distance to the Menemsha Inn, where the couple, who said it was five minutes away, was staying.

Mr. Brown repeatedly attacked the victim. Early Monday morning the victim managed to leave the rented cottage and began walking down North Road, and as she did, at about about 5:30 am, she used her cell phone to dial 911. The call was transferred to the mainland and transferred back to West Tisbury Police, who picked the victim up and took her to Chilmark.

Chilmark Police Chief Brian Cioffi said that police were able to learn the identity of Mr. Brown from his rental car information. Based on his violent criminal past, police decided to wait until he drove away from the inn and away from the public and inn guests.

Chilmark, West Tisbury, Aquinnah, and State Police, all out of sight, monitored the inn. Police stopped Mr. Brown’s vehicle at the end of Menemsha Inn Road and made the arrests.

Members of the State Police crime scene investigative unit came from the mainland to assist Chilmark sexual assault investigators in the investigation Monday.

“This was a team effort,” Chief Cioffi said. “I am grateful to the members of Coast Guard Station Menemsha who assisted in the transportation of the State Police crime unit and the Aquinnah, West Tisbury, and State Police departments.”