Lehighton man bound over for court on indecent assault charges
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Bradley Johnson is shown being escorted to the office of District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton on Wednesday before his preliminary hearing.
A Lehighton man had charges related to indecent assault and indecent exposure bound over for court following a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.
Bradley Johnson, 60, elected to have his preliminary hearing, which saw 12-year-old and 14-year-old family members testify. Their testimony was enough evidence to have all but two counts of indecent exposure, one count of corruption of minors, and one count of open lewdness bound over for trial in Carbon County court.
Johnson will face court trail on three counts of corruption of minors, indecent assault, indecent exposure, open lewdness, aggravated indecent assault of a child, aggravated indecent assault without consent, and aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age.
He will also face court trail for three counts of corruption of minors, two counts of open lewdness, indecent exposure, and aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age.
Appleton dismissed two counts of indecent exposure, one count of corruption of minors, and one count of open lewdness.
Johnson has been returned to Carbon County prison in lieu of $26,000 straight bail. His pretrial is scheduled to be held Aug. 11 before the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas.
As part of their testimonies, both girls said that they live in Northampton with their father and stepmother. During the school year, the victims said they visit with their mother in Lehighton every other weekend, and every other week in the summer.
The first victim to testify, now 12, said that she was involved in several incidents with Johnson. She testified Johnson made her touch his private parts and did inappropriate things to her.
The second victim to testify, now 14, said she was also involved in several incidents with Johnson. She testified that Johnson touched her breasts, made her touch his private parts, and on another occasion asked her to touch his private parts.
The 14-year-old testified that her father and stepmother discovered a journal in which she wrote about the events. However, she testified that there were no references to Johnson in the journal.
"My father was upset that I had wrote something like that; that little girls were getting raped," she said. "I just said a man was raping little girls."
Following both girls' testimonies, defense attorney George Dydynsky asked that all the charges against Johnson be dropped due to testimony full of blatant lies.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by East Penn Township Police Chief James Danner:
On April 15, 2010, at about 9:30 p.m., Danner received a complaint from the family of the victim, stating that their 11-year-old daughter had been sexually molested by her stepfather, Johnson.
Danner then scheduled the victim to be interviewed by the Advocacy Center, at which time she related that her first encounter with Johnson took place when she was around eight or nine years old at Johnson's home.
The victim stated that she was seated in the living room area on her blue chair and Johnson was seated on the couch in the same room covering himself with a blanket.
The victim stated that Johnson called her name, and when she turned to look, he removed the blanket and exposed his private area.
The victim noted that Johnson was wearing just a T-shirt and underwear with the underwear pulled to the side while he exposed his private area.
The victim stated that about two weeks later, while at Johnson's home, he again exposed his private area, but this time he asked her to touch it, at which point the victim stated she walked out of the room without doing so.
The victim stated that the next encounter occurred at Johnson's home during the winter time when she was nine years old. The victim stated that she was laying in front of the fire place in the basement of the home wearing a long shirt.
During the next encounter, the victim stated that she and her sister were playing in the basement of Johnson's home when he approached them and exposed his private area and asked both of them to touch it, at which time they both backed away.
On July 13, 2010, at about 5:58 p.m., Johnson was interviewed at the East Penn Township Police station.
Johnson was read his Miranda rights, which he waived. Johnson provided a written statement stating that he never had any sexual contact with the victim.
According to another affidavit of probable cause filed by Danner:
On March 4, 2009, at about 7:30 p.m., Danner was contacted by the family of the victim, who said that their 12-year-old daughter had been touched sexually by Johnson, according to the affidavit.
It was also reported that the victim, now 14, was asked by Johnson to strip naked, the affidavit says.
The victim reported the incident to her parents on March 3, 2009, but said that the acts occurred about a year ago.
The victim's mother did note that her daughter had been displaying unusual behavior in the past year, such as urinating in the closet.
On April 21, 2010, at about noon, the victim was interviewed at the Childrens Advocacy Center in Scranton. At that time, the victim related to staff at the Advocacy Center that the first sexual encounter with Johnson occurred when she was around the age of 11.
The victim reported that while at Johnson's home, she was seated at the computer when Johnson approached her from behind and reached over her shoulder and grabbed her breast using one hand. The victim stated that she smacked Johnson's hand and got up and left the room.
The victim reported that during another encounter while at Johnson's home, Johnson entered the living room area where she was watching television and told her to take her clothing off. The victim stated that she exited the room without doing so, and said that Johnson told her not to say anything to anybody.
The victim reported that during another encounter while she was and her sister were playing in the downstairs part of Johnson's home, he approached them and exposed his private area.
On July 13, 2010, at about 5:58 p.m., Johnson was interviewed at the East Penn Township Police station. Johnson was read his Miranda rights, which he waived and provided a written statement stating that he never had any sexual contact with the victim.