Local attorney acquitted of rape charge

Local attorney acquitted of rape charge
Jonathan Johnson (Source: Louisiana State Police)
Jonathan Johnson (Source: KPLC)
Jonathan Johnson (Source: KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After a week-long trial, a local attorney has been acquitted of a rape charge. Judge Dennis Waldron found Jonathan Johnson not guilty of rape Friday afternoon.

Johnson was accused of raping a woman in 2011. It was a legal battle that went on for almost seven years.

Johnson admitted to sex with a 21 year old woman at his home where his fiance was asleep in another room, but he says it was consensual.

"I believe that the person who was making the accusations was not credible and I believe that all the witnesses that testified supported Jonathan's side of the story and the only person that didn't was her and I believe the judge had to find that she was not a believable person," said defense attorney Jim Boren.

"I don't have enough time today to list the lies that I think she told but they were numerous and I guess probably the one that might have had the greatest impact was when she not only lied herself, but when she asked other friends, her best friends, to lie for her and pretty soon, ultimately it all fell apart," said Boren.

Johnson and his family members were tremendously relieved when the verdict was announced, crying and hugging in the courtroom. Johnson emerged from the courthouse expressing his faith and gratitude.

"I'm just absolutely grateful. It's been a hard seven years, but it's been an amazing seven years. Lord's blessed our family so much and blessed our business and provided for us this entire time and he promised me victory a long time ago and he delivered today and I'm just eternally grateful," he said.

Johnson also expressed appreciation for the support he has received, and humility for the forgiveness of his wife.

"My wife's forgiveness was, it was immediate and it was Christ-like. And our marriage, it's just a testament to her," he said.

The encounter happened after an apparent night of drinking after a wedding reception.

"When you do drink alcohol you might make decisions that later on you regret. That doesn't mean that you've committed a crime and everyone should probably think about that long and hard," said co-defense counsel Marci Blaize.

Johnson says he has and will continue to pray for his accuser and her family

The defense put on its last witness this morning - a psychologist with expertise in alcoholic intoxication.

Kim Fromme was accepted by the court as an expert dealing with alcohol effects on memory, cognition and behavior.

She testified the woman accusing Johnson of rape would likely have been well aware of her surroundings, able to grasp the nature of her situation and make voluntary decisions. Fromme also testified how sometimes false memories are developed by what others tell us.

Under cross-examination, the state raised the issue of whether Fromme has an interest in the outcome of the case, which she denied.

The state also brought out that the expert was not made aware that the woman claimed immobility and intense fear during the assault.

To read detailed testimony, follow Theresa Schmidt on Twitter.

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