Jury convicts man on all counts in sex assault case

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Jurors deliberated more than eight hours before finding James Johnson guilty on all seven counts accusing him of sexually abusing a girl from the time she was eight until she was 15.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger, who prosecuted the case along with Deputy DA Iris Yowell, said the verdict can’t erase the suffering she endured but, “it should help her to begin to heal.”

Johnson will be sentenced by District Judge James Todd Russell on June 23.

The charges all carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. The three counts of lewdness with a person under age 14 have a minimum prison time of 10 years each. The three counts of sexual assault on a person under 14 are a minimum of 35 years apiece and the count of sexually assaulting a person under 16 is at least 25 years in prison.

The judge’s discretion in the case is pretty much limited to deciding whether to run the sentences consecutive to each other or concurrently.

Since there are no sentence reducing credits allowed on Category A felonies, running the sentences consecutive to each other would require Johnson spend a minimum of 160 years in prison. Even if the sentences are concurrent, he couldn’t be considered for parole for at least 35 years.

Jurors were told the violations began with Johnson rubbing lotion on the victim’s body but quickly progressed to sexual acts. The victim testified that the assaults occurred only when no one else was around.


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