Convicted Church Mentor Gets Life In Prison For Luring Teen Boys With Fake Web Profile
Lawrenceville, Georgia does not tolerate child molesters as 29-year-old Antoine Johnson found out this week.
The former intern and summer camp organizer at Hebron Baptist Church received a life sentence after being convicted of three counts of aggravated child molestation after he pretended to be a teenage girl and lured teen boys into having sex with him.
Kristen is a 14-year-old girl. She hangs out online and meets boys, promising to fulfill their sexual fantasies. Boys, of course, would line up for the chance to meet Kristen, and were willing to do anything to get with her. But the catch was that in order to get the “goodies” from Kristen, you had to have sex with a grown man to prove your loyalty.
Not only were the expectations of Kristen frighteningly unrealistic, the even harsher reality is that Kristen didn’t even exist. Kristen was the online creation of Antoine Johnson.
Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil called the scheme “absolutely diabolical” as he gave Johnson a life sentence in prison for molesting two boys, ages 13 and 14. He was also sentenced for attempting to lure in a 15-year-old back in 2008. Johnson did most of his dirty work on MySpace and would even get on the phone with the boys, telling them that “Kristen” would be next in line for good sex if they got with him first!
Johnson says that he created the online profile from a picture he took from a real girl. He claims that he created the profile to help a friend’s younger brother overcome self-confidence issues. One of the teens said that he went to meet Kristen one night and met Johnson instead. At 2 a.m., the two had 0-ral sex in the driveway.
“At first I refused for a few weeks…but she kept asking me and asking me, and I gave in,” the boy said.
“I’ve been a prosecutor 13 years, and the defendant’s testimony was some of the most bizarre I’ve seen,” said Assistant District Attorney Nigel Lush. “We got a look inside the mind of a true pedophile.”
When he wasn’t out hunting down young boys, Johnson spent his time as a mentor for boys at his church. According to records, he mentored as many as 500 boys per week.
None of the children involved in this case were children Antoine met at church and he maintains that he didn’t touch any of the children he mentored.
The Gwinnette Daily Post says:
[Antoine] pleaded guilty to 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a child in connection with a cache of dozens of child Adult Videos films and hundreds of photographs found on his personal computer. He also copped to a count of enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts of attempting to entice children. The judge tacked on 60 years of probation to restrict him from computer access or unsupervised contact with minors, should he ever be paroled. Prosecutors had offered Johnson a plea deal of 20 years in prison, but he balked at admitting in court to physically molesting the teens. On the stand, he admitted to lusting for young boys but blamed his impulses on a distant relative who molested him and exposed him to child pornography when he was 7 years old.
The newspaper also says there was no jury in the case. Antoine didn’t want the children to have to recount their story in front of a jury so he opted to have his case heard by the judge in a bench trial. After what the judge called “called three days of ‘gruesome’ testimony” he sentenced him to life behind bars.
I’m not minimizing his crime, what Antoine Johnson did is absolutely deplorable, but a life sentence seems excessive. Sometimes I wonder if the justice system in this country is much too quick to throw young black men away for the rest of their lives. True, Antoine is definitely a sicko who certainly doesn’t elicit any sympathy, but isn’t life in prison reserved for kidnappers and murderers? The prosecutor recommended the harsh sentence saying “true pedophiles never get better” and in Antoine’s case, he won’t even have a chance to try.
Alissa is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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