Johnson indicted on 25 sex charges

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By Kenny Colston

A La Grange man accused of multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography has been indicted on all 25 counts he was charged with in September.

Richard Wayne Johnson, 35, was indicted by the Oldham County Grand Jury on Friday. He is charged with 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.

At Johnson’s last court hearing before his indictment, two detectives with the Kentucky State Police testified about their investigations into the accusations against Johnson.

According to that testimony, KSP became aware of Johnson’s alleged activities after a tip from his Internet service provider was forwarded from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Detective Cassandra Mullins said the first incident occurred on Jan. 19, 2012, when the first tip came in about an email Johnson sent containing a video showing children under the age of six participating in various sexual acts, including some acts with an adult.

Roughly a month later, Johnson wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, saying he had sent the email in question to “seem legitimate” to someone who was sending child pornography and he intended to help law enforcement officials track down people who had been sending him child pornography, Mullins said.

Once KSP officials took over the case in October 2012, they tracked other e-mail addresses and screen names on well-known child pornography sites back to Johnson for almost a year, Mullins said.

State police also got a tip from Johnson’s former employer, Oldham County EMS, about an unusual e-mail address he submitted on official documents to Oldham County EMS. Mullins said she tracked that email address and was able to link it to several incest and child pornography websites.

During a search of Johnson’s home, officers found thousands of images of child porn on a memory device, as well as on Johnson’s cell phone and laptop, Mullins said. She said police found eleven videos and six photos of child porn, including some of children as young as two years old, on Johnson’s cell phone.

On the sexual abuse charges, KSP Detective Tim Moore said the alleged sexual abuse of a minor occurred four or five times earlier this summer at Johnson’s residence.  The sexual abuse, incest and sodomy charges all arose after the initial investigation into the child pornography allegations, Moore said.

The sexual abuse occurred eight times between May and June, according to court records, with a minor under sixteen years old.

In the pre-indictment hearing, Rob Riley, Johnson’s attorney, raised doubts about the interview processes for the sexual abuse charges.

Mullins said during the search of his home, Johnson initially denied involvement, but eventually admitted to her “he was attracted to young girls around 14 years old, but could be aroused by younger children.”

Mullins said Johnson also admitted he always intended to turn the photos over to police and get help.

Johnson’s attorney, Rob Riley, pointed out Johnson originally had informed law enforcement he wanted to help track down those distributing child pornography before state police ever received a complaint about him, raising a possible line of defense later down the road.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Riley said he had not yet seen the indictment of Johnson and could not comment on it.