An Antelope Valley man pleaded no contest Monday to committing a lewd act on a 12-year-old boy.
Howard L. Brooks, a field representative for Assemblyman Phil Wyman (R-Tehachapi), will be sentenced by Superior Court Judge David Mintz on Sept. 19 to three years in state prison under a plea agreement reached between his defense attorney and prosecutors. If he fails to appear, the judge has the discretion to sentence Brooks to a maximum of eight years behind bars.
The plea deal, which also requires the Quartz Hill man to register as a sex offender, avoids a trial that was supposed to begin later this month. Brooks' attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
Brooks, 61, was executive director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade for 12 years before taking the job with Wyman's office last year.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Rouman Ebrahim said he was satisfied with the outcome, especially since the young victim will no longer have to endure a lengthy trial.
"This is a very difficult thing for anyone to go through, much less a child," Ebrahim said. "This way, Mr. Brooks is held accountable for his actions, and the child doesn't have to go through the experience of testifying in court."
Brooks was arrested last year after sheriff's investigators received a letter that he allegedly sent to an inmate at the state prison in Sacramento detailing sexual conduct with young boys.
Authorities said that Brooks abused the child between March and November 2000 while the boy was living with the Brooks family.
Brooks was charged with five felony counts carrying a maximum of 17 years in prison, including committing a lewd act on a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation with a minor younger than 14, providing lewd material to a minor and possession of child pornography.