A Carbon County man was sentenced to a state prison term Tuesday in the county court on two counts each of indecent assault, corruption of minors and open lewdness He previously entered guilty pleas to the charges.
Bradley R. Johnson, 62, of Lehighton, was sentenced by Judge Joseph J. Matika to serve one to two years on each count with the terms running concurrently, followed by two years of state probation.
Johnson, who has health problems and is confined to a wheelchair, was charged with having inappropriate contact with two young girls, ages 12 and 14 at the time, that occurred during the period of 2009-2010, at a home in East Penn Township. The charges were filed by township Police Chief James Danner.
Police charged that Johnson had sexual contact with the two girls and made them touch his private parts.
Johnson has been in the state prison at Houtzdale, Clearfield County, since about Sept. 8, 2010, after he was sentenced by Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to serve two to four years in a state prison on charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
In that case he was arrested after a search warrant was executed on his residence by agents of the state Attorney General's office in December 2009. The charges stem from a vehicle stop that occurred in Slatington, Lehigh County. The case was transferred to Carbon as part of an ongoing investigation.
Johnson told Matika his minimum had run on the drug charges in September 2012 but he has been denied parole five times. He claimed that the denials were based on the pending sexual abuse charges. He said he has another parole hearing in February.
Johnson also accepted the determination by the state sexual assessment board that he is a violent sexual predator under the provision of Megan's Law. That means he must register for life as a sexual offender along with other provisions.
Matika said in deciding on the sentence of one to two years, he took into consideration delays in the case and sentencing dates that were not the fault of the defendant. He said he also considered the two victims in the case in determining the sentence.
In addition to the prison term, Matika ordered Johnson to have no contact with either victim or their families, make restitution totaling $1,625, get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and submit to a sexual offenders evaluation and follow those recommendations.
Johnson must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000. If Johnson is paroled on the drug counts in February he will remain in the state prison system to finish out the new sentence.