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Man sentenced for molestation

March 06, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

William Charles Johnson, 72, was sentenced to up to 20 years in state prison Friday in Franklin County Court, according to Franklin County assistant district attorney Angela Krom.

Presiding Judge John R. Walker sentenced Johnson, of 3486 Clayhill Road, to 7 years, 9 months to 20 years in prison for molesting two Waynesboro girls, Krom said.

At a hearing before Friday's sentencing, Johnson was designated as a sexually violent predator, Krom said. Johnson will have to notify police, schools, neighbors and others in any community he resides of the designation upon release from prison.

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On Sept. 25, Johnson was acquitted of felony charges of attempted rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault. Walker said there was insufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Johnson was found guilty in September on two counts of indecent assault and one count each of corruption of a minor and indecent exposure. Walker sentenced him on those convictions Friday.

The girls, now 14 and 10, testified at Johnson's trial in September. The mother of one of the victims testified that Johnson was a frequent visitor to her home and often was alone with her daughter.

According to Franklin County court records, Johnson was sentenced in 1986 to one to two years in prison for indecent assault after a jury found him guilty of groping a woman. He had followed the woman and convinced her to pull off the road under the pretext that something was wrong with her car, records said.

Johnson lived in Sabillasville, Md., at the time.

In another case, he was convicted by a Frederick County, Md., jury of a third-degree sexual offense involving a minor and assault and battery, according to court records in that county. The victim in that case was an 8-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but two years suspended, court records said.

Johnson had been free on bond since shortly after his July 8, 2002, arrest.

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