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Johnson asks for house arrest in abuse case

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By Kenny Colston

 

Richard Wayne Johnson, a former Oldham County EMS employee, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of crime pornography and other sex crimes at his first court appearance after being indicted on those charges.

Johnson, 35, of La Grange was indicted on the following charges: one count of incest, one count of second degree sodomy, eight counts of first degree sexual abuse, one count of distribution of obscene matter to a minor, two counts of distribution of child pornography and twelve counts of possession of child pornography.

Kentucky State Police first arrested Johnson on Sept. 17 and charged him with 14 counts of possession of child pornography. In court, KSP detectives said they found hundreds of images on Johnson’s computer and phone of young children performing sex acts.

After their first arrest of Johnson, detectives said they learned of the alleged sexual abuse of a minor and arrested Johnson a second time on those allegations.

At his first appearance in circuit court, Johnson once again plead not guilty, while asking the court to appoint a public defender for his case.

Before his indictment, Johnson was represented by attorney Rob Riley, who informed the court Thursday he was no longer being retained by Johnson’s parents.

During questioning to see if he qualified for a public defender, Johnson revealed he had been fired by Oldham County EMS a day after his first arrest on child pornography charges after 13 years of employment.

Johnson also said much of his retirement as a county employee and assets were being tied up in divorce proceedings and unavailable to him.

Based on those situations, Circuit Court Judge Karen Conrad appointed a public defender for Johnson moving forward.

Johnson also asked for a motion to reduce his bail and be put on house arrest, which Conrad said she would consider before his next court date Feb. 6.

But in initial comments, Conrad seemed leery of granting a bond reduction, saying the seriousness of Johnson’s charges might outweigh the consideration that he is not a major flight risk.

“The nature of these offenses are very, very serious,” she said.

Email us about this story at editor@oldhamera.com.