Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Criminal, The Offender, The Unwanted in our Society is among us..!!!!!!!

District Man Sentenced to 45 1/2 Years in Prison for Kidnaping and Sexually Assaulting a 14- and a 16-Year Old Girl, and Pimping the 14-Year Old

WASHINGTON - Earlier today, Superior Court Judge Robert I. Richter sentenced a 33- year-old District of Columbia man, Jovon T. Johnson, to a term of 45½ years in prison for abducting and kidnaping two young girls, sexually assaulting both girls, and forcing the youngest girl, a 14-year-old, into prostitution, announced U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor.

Johnson, formerly of the 2900 block of K Street, SE, Washington, D.C., was found guilty on April 25, 2008, by a District of Columbia Superior Court jury of 19 counts, including eight counts of First Degree Sexual Abuse; five counts of First Degree Child Sexual Abuse; Third Degree Sexual Abuse; two counts of Kidnaping; Threats; Pandering, and two counts of Assault. The defendant will have to register as a sex offender when he is released from jail. In sentencing the defendant, Judge Richter noted that he had heard all of the evidence presented at trial and based on that evidence believes that the defendant is an “evil person.” The judge further commented that Johnson’s complete denial of involvement in the offenses, and his refusal to accept any responsibility for his actions, only compounds the crime.

This defendant earned every single day of his 45½ prison sentence for the kidnaping and brutal rape of two young girls from the streets of the District of Columbia,” stated U.S. Attorney Taylor. “At the hands of this violent, ruthless child predator, these two victims experienced life as no child should know it and unfortunately nothing will change that fact. To address and prevent similar tragedies, the D.C. Human Trafficking Force continues to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who sexually abuse and force young girls into a life of prostitution.”

The evidence at trial established that on or about May 30, 2005, the defendant drove up to the 14-year-old victim in the 3700 block of Minnesota Avenue, NE. She was walking by herself. The defendant encouraged her to get into his car and she did. The defendant then forced her to disrobe and perform a sexual act on him. He took her to an apartment at 2201 2nd Street, NW,
which was rented by an acquaintance of Johnson’s. There, Johnson kept the child against her will for approximately 10 days, sexually and physically assaulted her, and forced her to prostitute in a high prostitution area in Washington, D.C. She was able to escape on or around July 8, 2005. The police were notified, but at that point she had no idea where she had been kept captive, the identity of the assailant, or the location of the apartment renter

Ten days later, the defendant approached the 16-year-old victim in the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue, NW. He forced this victim into his car. Like he did to the 14-year-old victim, Johnson forced this victim to disrobe and perform a sexual act on him. He took her to the apartment on 2nd Street, sexually assaulted her, and ordered her to stay for the night. After the defendant left, the apartment renter also sexually assaulted her. After he left, this victim escaped and was rescued by another tenant. The police responded.

MPD Detective Lachele Bethea Goode was assigned to both cases. Her investigation revealed that the facts of both cases had numerous unique similarities and she ultimately developed facts that established that the abductor for both victims was the same person. The apartment renter cooperated with the government’s search for the abductor and gave the government the abductor’s cell phone number. U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigators John Marsh and Christopher Brophy, along with U.S. Attorney’s Office Intelligence Officer Lawrence Grasso, traced the cell phone through numerous owners and, ultimately, identified a possible suspect. The suspect had a distinctive tattoo on his back which matched the description given by the 14-year-old victim. Criminal Investigator Marsh created and showed a photo spread to the victims and both positively identified the defendant as the person who assaulted them.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Taylor noted that this case was successfully investigated and prosecuted with a large team of dedicated individuals, including many members of the District of Columbia’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Mr. Taylor commended the lead MPD Detective Lachele Bethea Goode for her outstanding work on this case and the numerous other MPD officers and detectives who committed significant time and dedication to the case, including Craig Farmer, Gerald Wills, Jonathan Andrews, Timothy Palchak, S.T. Vines, Annette Hicks, Garry Thompson, Kim Holland, and Ephriam Williams. Mr. Taylor also praised the assistance of Victim Witness Advocates Veronica Vaughan and Tracey Hawkins, who provided invaluable assistance to the two young victims. He also thanked Paralegal Joyce Arthur, Legal Assistant Donice Adams, Paralegal and Legal Assistant Supervisor Sabrina Turner, and Litigation Support Personnel Tyrone Bowie and Janay Jones. He also recognized and thanked Detective Marc Dinardo and Intelligence Analyst Heather Gordon of FBI’s Washington Field Office for their assistance in identifying the defendant. He also thanked Supervisory Community Supervision Officer Paul Brennan of the District’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for his valuable assistance with an important witness who was on supervision by his agency. U.S. Attorney Taylor gave praise and recognition to U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigators John Marsh and Christopher Brophy and Intelligence Officer Lawrence Grasso for their incredible dedication and tenacity on this case. Without their work, this violent predator would not have been located and prosecuted. And, finally, he commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Marcus-Kurn who indicted and prosecuted the case

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