Utah sex offender is released due to his incompetency

A Utah judge released a registered sex offender who faces about 21 charges of child sex abuse because he is mentally incompetent to stand trial on Thursday.

According to the CNN, the 38-year-old sex offender, Lonnie Johnson, has been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder. Doctors who examined Johnson said his competency could not be restored and he is not a danger to society.

James Taylor, the Fourth District Judge, said at the Thursday's hearing that he was following a Utah statute requiring the release of anyone deemed incompetent to stand trial and who has not been convicted of a crime and there were no legal grounds for holding Johnson, the CNN reported.

Johnson currently faces five counts of rape of child, six counts of sodomy on a child and 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, the CNN reported the record from the court documents. Also, in 2006, he was convicted of raping a teenage girl in Washington State and he sent to prison for third-degree rape and served less than a year. He is now required to register as a sex offender.

The Star Tribune used the Associated Press's report saying Craig Johnson, the Deputy Utah County District Attorney, encouraged the Judge Taylor allowed them to have a review in six months. Also, Taylor ordered Johnson to meet with new doctors to evaluate him again in October and a new hearing will be held on Nov.17.

Cindy Lorenz, Johnson's sister said she believes Johnson's civil and medical privacy rights had been violated, the Star Tribune reported. Johnson's family has said he is innocent of the charges. They said the accusations are related to a bitter divorce between Johnson and his wife.

Christy Danner, the mother of one alleged victim, think Johnson is faking incompetence, the CNN reported. She also said that is not the way the system works and she hopes to get Johnson back in the state of Utah and find him competent.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert said that he was outraged that a convicted child sex offender could be release without being tried for current charges, the CNN reported.

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This page contains a single entry by yeun0040 published on April 10, 2011 7:59 PM.

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