LEXINGTON, S.C. — Evidence uncovered while a man was already serving time in federal prison has led to an 80-year sentence for a conviction on child sexual assault charges.
South Carolina 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor S.R. Hubbard III announced the conviction and sentencing of 33-year-old Johnathan David Johnson on Friday following his guilty plea a day earlier.
Johnson was convicted on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one for first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
“This offender has shown that he will always be a danger to children," Hubbard said. "We are thankful for justice in this case, with the assurance that he will no longer pose a threat to our community.”
Johnson's initial arrest can be traced back to 2014 when he was caught as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Operation Hydra" which was a major child pornography investigation. He was ultimately convicted of possessing child pornography and sentenced to 63 months in federal prison.
Years later in 2017, while Johnson was still in prison, police found a laptop that contained a video in which prosecutors said he was "attempting to rape a three-year-old child" in Gaston.
“Johnson has demonstrated that no child is safe around him," assistant solicitor Ashley Wellman said. "This sentence ensures this sexual predator will never be able to hurt another child again.”
Prosecutors said the operation was spearheaded by Lexington County Sheriff's Department's Sgt. Adam Creech.