A San Carlos man arrested last week for allegedly touching three minors was supposed to be housed in a locked psychiatric facility after prosecutors and a judge changed his earlier indecent exposure conviction to avoid his registering as a sex offender.
Daniel Mark Brickman, 50, is most recently accused of annoying two children and a teenager in San Carlos. When arrested, Brickman was identified as a transient and gave an Oakland address; what’s unclear is why Brickman was in San Carlos because his last criminal case in San Mateo County was resolved in a way to keep him in custody and treatment.
“We don’t know why Mr. Brickman does not remain in a facility. Did someone determine he wasn’t a risk? Was he ever housed in such a facility?” said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
He said Brickman may very well have been discharged from the facility but regardless the belief is that he did go off his medication.
Brickman’s housing is what led Judge Lisa Novak to agree for him to change a 2010 indecent exposure conviction to one of annoying a minor. Had the original charge stood, Brickman, who was under a legal conservatorship, would have been required to register as a sex offender and be prohibited from remaining in his psychiatric housing. At the time, prosecutor Melissa McKowan said the switch was “totally a technicality” because the sentence of credit for time served was the same. The only difference was registration which she said gave the county more flexibility in where Brickman would live.
Brickman’s former defense attorney Eric Liberman could not be reached for comment. At the time of the 2011 resentencing, he said the change was what the original plea deal had been but that an error was made at sentencing and the flip back was appropriate because his client “while inappropriate, is not perceived to be a heinous sex offender.”
During several weeks in February 2010, Brickman allegedly fondled and grabbed at three nurses, used “sexually coarse” language toward the staff and, on five occasions, masturbated in public areas of the San Mateo Medical Center psychiatric unit. On Feb. 25, 2010, Brickman grabbed a 20-year-old female psychiatric patient and attempted to sexually assault her until staff forcibly pulled him off the woman, according to prosecutors.
Brickman’s delusions reportedly led him to believe he had been put in the ward to plant his seed in women.
McKowan said in 2011 that Brickman did not pose a risk to the general public by not registering as an offender.
This is a guy whose whole problem was conduct in the hospital. “Nothing ever happened in the street,” McKowan said at the time.
However, now authorities say something did happen in public.
Last Thursday night, Brickman was arrested at the intersection of San Carlos Avenue and Elm Street in San Carlos after allegedly touching a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy inappropriately. Authorities say he then fled and touched a 16-year-old girl inappropriately.
The new case shows that prosecutors aren’t prophets by any stretch and “a reminder that someone in a structured, institutional setting on medication is one thing but it’s no guarantee that when they release people they won’t go off their meds,” Wagstaffe said.
Wagstaffe said the public also has to remember that the reason for the resentencing was to keep Brickman locked up. Had resentencing not happened, Brickman would be out and on probation but registration wouldn’t necessarily have kept him from groping people in the streets.
“At least we kept him in a facility at least for some time,” he said.
On Friday, Brickman was charged with one count of sexual battery and two counts of battery. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $10,000. Assistant Presiding Judge Joseph Scott said that if Brickman cannot post bail he should be housed at Cordilleras Mental Health Center.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102