May 22, 2018
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Mass. man to serve 8 years for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old while driving

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A Massachusetts man who is a convicted sex offender in that state was sentenced Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to 15 years in prison with all but eight years suspended for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 2009 while driving down Interstate 95.

Jason Johnson, 29, of Lancaster, Mass., also was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release on one count of gross sexual assault and one count each of unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching.

The victim did not appear in court.

In sentencing Johnson, District Court Judge Bruce Jordan said that the defendant did not engage in predatory behavior the way a sexual predator might “cruise a schoolyard” but “this was a predatory act.”

Johnson met the 13-year-old through her foster mother, who lived in Stetson, Alice Clifford, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, told District Court Judge Bruce Jordan. He hatched a plan in January 2009 to come to Maine to get the girl and take her to his apartment in Lancaster, Mass., located near Worcester, to have sex.

The girl agreed to go with him, but because of her age could not legally consent to having sex with anyone, Clifford said.

On the drive to Massachusetts, he talked the girl into performing oral sex on him, Clifford said. Once they reached York County, Johnson decided not to take the girl across state lines and dropped her off at a store. Its location was not revealed during the sentencing.

The defendant was cooperative the next day when police asked him to come back to Maine for an interview, defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor, said at the sentencing. The defendant admitted to what had happened, the lawyer said.

Johnson was indicted in August 2010 but failed to appear for his October 2010 court appearance. He was arrested in May 2012.

The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not available late Monday. Johnson was incarcerated at a juvenile facility in Massachusetts between the ages of 17 and 21 on a sexual assault conviction, according to Clifford. He was required to register as sex offered because of his convictions in the Bay State.

Due to the conviction in Maine, Johnson will be required to register as sex offender for life no matter where he lives.

Clifford recommended a sentence of 17 years with all but 10 suspended. Tzovarras urged Jordan to sentence his client to 12 years behind bars with all but five suspended.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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