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UT - Lonnie Johnson/child rapist to walk due to loophole in the law

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Missizzy, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Oh, this case is just soooo wrong on many many levels. Terrifying, actually. Doctors have been unable to restore Johnson's mental capacity and so he's simply released? The man has a cognitive disability, I get that. There's no way to fix that. But just allowed to walk? This is outrageous. If he committed this crime nearly two dozen times, what's to keep him from doing it again? Any wonder that the victims families are outraged?


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/31/loophole-means-utah-sex-offender-set-freed/

    Loophole Means Utah Sex Offender Set to Be Freed

    "A convicted sex offender facing nearly two dozen charges of child sex abuse may be soon be set free because doctors says he's no danger to society even though he's not mentally competent for trial.
    Lonnie Hyrum Johnson was charged in 2007 in Utah with rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual abuse of a child for alleged acts with his niece and her step-cousin between 2001 and 2006.

    Each charge is a first-degree felony. If convicted at a trial, the 38-year-old Johnson would face life sentences for every count. Instead, it appears he will be freed sometime soon after a hearing Thursday afternoon.

    Deemed incompetent for trial by a judge in 2008, Johnson has been institutionalized at Utah State Hospital in Provo, about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City, where doctors have been working to restore his mental capacity. But several weeks ago, the judge found that he likely would not be made competent to face the charges, and doctors believe he wouldn't be a danger to society if freed...."

    and

    "....Relatives of the victims are outraged...."

    more at link
     
  2. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Yeah!! Eleventh hour flicker of good sense. A new evaluation for Mr. Johnson.

    While I have all the sympathy in the world for those with cognitive disorders and disabilities, it is simply not fair to society or to the person themselves, to allow them to harm children. The man might not understand the impact of his crimes or the boundaries between right and wrong. As a society charged with child safety, though, it's our job to set them for him if he can't do it himself. JMO

    http://www.heraldextra.com/news/loc...cle_2d7647b6-f28e-519e-b608-c2916c6cc3f6.html

    Posted 4 minutes ago.

    Prosecutors have succeeded obtaining a new mental evaluation for a convicted sex offender accused of an array of child sex crimes, re-opening the possibility that the man could be committed instead of released.

    Lonnie Hyrum Johnson, 34, is accused of repeatedly committing sex abuse against two relatives over a period of four or five years. The relatives were children when the alleged abuse occurred. As a result, Johnson is charged with five counts of rape of a child, five counts of sodomy on a child and seven counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child. All of Johnson's charges are first-degree felonies.

    Utah County prosecutor Craig Johnson said that what happens to Johnson in the future depends on whether he is deemed a danger to society...."

    more at link

    Can't they ask us that last question? I can answer it.
     
  3. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    If he is not a danger to society, as these doctors claim, they should agree to keep him in their houses. Problem solved.
    :banghead:
     
  4. MorenoI

    MorenoI New Member

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    Yes, exactly!
     
  5. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I think cases like this can be such eye-openers. They help us define where the loopholes are and where we need to direct our energy. It was clear to me that, in reading these articles, everyone was flummoxed. If a person doesn't merit a particular definition of the law, we can't arbitrarily say, "Jail him". If we went down that path, things would get mighty scary to be an American, IMO. That is exactly how tens of thousands of American men and women lived out their lives in asylums in the past.

    No, Johnson's case makes clear that there must be special attention paid to the vagaries of child abuse and the rules concerning civil commitment. I also see it as the perfect opportunity to discuss personal safety issues and our cognitively disabled population. I'm not sure that many people know that sex offender therapy AND sex abuse treatment for victims with cognitive disabilities is almost unheard of. That, to me, is unacceptable. I've wondered where the ADA is on this issue for years.

    If we're going to cut residential treatment homes, adult foster homes, high school transition programs, social training, and in home services for those with these types of disabilities, how can we expect them to just straighten up and fly right? The outcome of the lack of supervision and sheltered workplaces and training, etc. is more crime. And we simply don't have enough prisons to house every one.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the judge, the attorneys, and the doctors knew along that there would be a last ditch effort to keep this man is a secure environment. I think this case was used to open the eyes of Utah citizens. Judging from the comments, I think it was highly successful.
     
  6. USA_bountyhunter

    USA_bountyhunter New Member

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    Has anyone heard what specific mental state he is in that qualifies him for this defense etc?
     
  7. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    This guy is due to be released ANY moment now. Nancy Grace covering it. Will get the live shot as he walks out!
     
  8. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    In court today, he was smiling and anytime he saw a camera trying to take his picture he showed remorse for the photo, but then immediately started to smile 2 seconds AFTER the photo was taken.
     
  9. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    did they show it??
     
  10. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    This shows clearly that he has no cognitive impairment. The reports were that he came in and winked at one of his victims who was in court, his step-daughter, I believe. Then, he kept his head down whenever there were cameras pointed his way but had a little smirk when they were not. On NG, one of his victim's moms said he ran a very successful business prior to getting caught and now suddenly he has cognitive impairment. I cry a huge B.S. on this.

    This is outrageous!!!!! There is no way this revolting, cunning [alleged] baby raper should be free. No way! I guarantee ya' that money plays a part somehow. Society doesn't want to pay the costs to keep these creeps locked up I guess, hence, loopholes that allow them out.

    I am so sick and angry about this. We have identified the danger to the most innocent of our society and it is this creep. Yet, he is being unleashed to the world, free to leave the state, go wherever and is now deemed "not a danger to society" by some embarrassments to the profession. Come on! We know what a risk he is! How is this guy able to wakk free? It defies logic.

    I hope the professionals who pronounced this monster to be incompetent and not a danger to society never sleep again once he rapes another child. I hope they never forgive themselves. Who hires these people? They should be fired as soon as possible. I'm sorry for the rant but we know who this demon is! We know what he has done and we know he will do it again! In so many cases, the perpetrator is unknown, just quietly stalking in our communities. But we know who this person is! And yet, we are letting him go. I really pray that the consequences of this horribly negligent act and ridiculous loophole do not lead to another life destroyed. But, I fear it will.
     
  11. norest4thewicked

    norest4thewicked Karma is a beautiful thing ~

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    This is so unbelievably sickening...I am just enraged! Rita Cosby was outraged as well and couldn't have expressed it any better. Start your stopwatches everyone...its only a matter of time before he does it again! Just disgusting!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    What happened to the judge's order for a re-evaluation? I have no TV so I haven't seen any breaking news.

    As far as his disability goes, this is all I have to go on:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/31/loophole-means-utah-sex-offender-set-freed/#ixzz1ItaA6u00

    "...Johnson, who suffers from a cognitive disorder, falls into a gap somewhere in between..."

    more at link


    IME, a "cognitive disorder" which would figure into a criminal case would be a legal or official diagnosis of MR, which is now called Intellectual Disability or ID. This is an IQ or functioning ability equal to an IQ of under 69.

    Just as an example, our daughter who is trafficked as a prostitute has a legal diagnosis of ID or an IQ of 63. She has the dubious right to sell her body for sex but has the mind of a 7-9 year old. This does not mean that she doesn't have some abilities. She dresses well, has impeccable manners, and is kind and sweet. She reads at a 2nd grade level, knows the days of the week and how to spell her name. But she doesn't know how to add or the months of the year. She's tremendously gifted in music and worked for three years with elders, with close supervision. When she was arrested for prostitution once, she was very friendly and pleasant to all those who worked with her. And then she was right back on the street with her pimp.

    Such is the heartbreak of ID. I'm not defending this man at all as I believe he needs to be prevented from hurting children. But it doesn't surprise me at all that he's enjoying the attention.
     
  13. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    He will be re-evaluated in 6 months.. He has to make himself available to UTAH courts in 6 months, but his family may have a plane ticket for him to Washington state
     
  14. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Because of Rosa's Law (the law that changes all government generated information which included the term, Mental Retardation, to Intellectual Disability), it is often necessary to use both terms to properly research this disability. Here's an excellent resource:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/intellectual_disabilities.html

    Seven of my 14 children are diagnosed with this disability and I can assure you that there is a vast range of abilities, reasoning capability and the ability to differentiate between wrong and right with my seven children. A full one percent of our population suffers from this lifelong and life-changing disability and trust me when I say that these 2.5 million people are greatly underserved.

    People with this diagnosis do not possess the ability to straighten up and fly right any more than we can expect a quadriplegic to just get up and walk. And note that it is often co-morbid with other disabilities, thus complicating matters even more.
     
  15. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    So, it's a done deal. I understand the inability to participate in the trial. I understand the inability to grasp the implications of charges. What I don't understand is the "no danger to society". I guess this is what's called following the letter of the law. I don't think anyone except Mr. Johnson and his family are pleased. It rankles me to the nth degree to see his family applaud his release. Where is their concern for the children....children who are part of their own family and children in general? I hope that family has some extremely tight supervision planned for him. Maybe this case will shake up some legislators to a degree that they'll tighten up this loophole. I am very frightened for children who might cross this man's path.

    My suggestion is that if you live in Utah, it's time to start writing and calling your legislators to change the law. That's our job as American citizens. There's so much on each legislator's plate right now, they need to hear from their constituents as to what you want accomplished. Check with your local Children's Advocacy Center and see if they are already are working on this. But step up and speak up!!!

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...t_free_by_utah_court_declared_incompeten.html

    Lonnie Johnson, convicted child rapist, set free by Utah court, declared incompetent to stand trial

    "A convicted child rapist facing 21 new counts of sex assault charges was set free in Utah Thursday after being declared incompetent to stand trial.

    Doctors say Lonnie Johnson, 38, can not participate in his own defense, does not understand the charges against him and is not a danger to society.

    Already a registered sex offender stemming from a child rape conviction in Washington State, Johnson is accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter and her cousin from 2001 to 2006. He was charged in 2008 with rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual assault of a child.

    Utah Judge James Taylor approved Johnson's release Thursday, saying he had no choice because of a loophole in state law...."

    more at link
     
  16. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    I saw some of this on our local news. IMO, whatever he suffers from must afflict his mother and his entire family for that matter. His mother's behavior in the courtroom was shameful and very disrespectful to her son's victims. She clapped with glee like a schoolgirl when the judge made his ruling.
     
  17. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I have a strong feeling that the media is really attempting to help with this case. They've kept it in the public eye and they aired that disturbing photo of the mother. The victims would be her step grandchildren, if I'm not mistaken. That's sick.

    I've seen some comments that the family has already hustled Johnson off the WA state but I don't think that's so easy. He is a RSO and most who change states, have to get permission. This guy is going to be on the radar.

    We'll see.

    One thing that I keep wondering about is whether the fact that he cannot be tried is linked in anyway to the children's access to therapy. How I hope not.
     
  18. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I feel like I have called this one wrong from the get-go. Johnson is now in Oregon, living with a sister. While I really don't want the man anywhere without the tightest supervision, I could just go my entire life without him living right near one of my infant granddaughters. I simply cannot ever understand what judges and POs expect family to do with these offenders. Is the sister supposed to shackle him to her side and watch his every move? Hillsboro and Beaverton are filled with young families with kids and lots and lots of parks.

    Two issues of note. Johnson's sister does not believe that Johnson is guilty of the crimes. That concerns me greatly. Will the man be compelled to attend treatment or is he "good to go"? Also, it looks like Elizabeth Smart's father, Ed Smart, is getting involved. He's contacted authorities to try to help.

    http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110411/APN/1104111687


    A convicted sex offender released from Utah custody last week after being deemed incompetent to stand trial has moved to Oregon.

    Utah Department of Corrections records posted online show Lonnie Hyrum Johnson with a Hillsboro, Ore., address. A Multnomah County sheriff's spokeswoman in Oregon said Utah authorities had given notice that Johnson was moving to the area and that he would be moving to a sister's home. "Our folks were notified earlier today that he would be moving here," Lt. Mary Lindstrand told The Associated Press. "We don't know when he'll be here."

    Johnson has 10 days to register as a sex offender with the state of Oregon upon arriving, Lindstrand said. Johnson is required to register as a sex offender because he pleaded guilty to the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Washington state in 2006...."

    more at link
     
  19. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Is this like the "Where's Waldo" game? If it is, I don't think it's much fun. Can you imagine how the victims feel? Is there any way to learn where this man has gone or do we have to wait for an abuse report to come in?

    http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/stor...nder-no-longer-in/ppqlrzU4pEmKC_E9AQaPLA.cspx

    UPDATE: Sister says sex offender no longer in Oregon

    "The sister of a convicted sex offender recently released from custody in Utah says her brother just visited in Oregon for two days and is no longer in the state.

    Washington County, Ore., sheriff's Sgt. David Thompson says Lonnie H. Johnson registered with the office Tuesday, accompanied by his sister, CL. But CL tells The Oregonian her brother has gone elsewhere. She declined to say where...."

    more at link
     
  20. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Given where family businesses are, he's probably headed to Longview, WA--50 miles north of Portland. It seems that the family is involved in a number of construction and house supply type businesses--some in the Hillsboro, OR area and some in the Longview, WA area.

    Does WA have an open SOR? Oregon does not. Being that he registered within 2 days of arriving in Oregon, I would think his family would make sure that he's timely about registering in WA too. It sounds like he left Oregon on or about April 13th.

    ETA: WA does have a public system but I do not see Johnson registered.
     

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