Ronnie Johnson pleads not guilty, bound over for trial
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Ronnie Johnson, the Milwaukee educator accused of sexually abusing students for more than a decade, pleaded not guilty and was bound over for trial on Wednesday, August 21st.
An amended criminal complaint with new charges was filed against 46-year-old Ronnie Johnson on Monday, August 12th. The amended complaint adds nine new charges including sexual assault of a child under 13 years of age (six counts), repeated sexual assault of a child (one count) and second degree assault of a child (two counts).
Johnson was the Vice President of Education for the Midwest Region of Universal Companies, and played a role in preparing a north side Milwaukee school to open in August. He was fired after notice of his arrest.
Johnson appeared in court on Monday originally facing charges involving three boys. But earlier in the day, the complaint was amended to include additional charges involving two others.
The latest two alleged victims are grown men now who had written letters to Johnson asking him to explain why he abused them. Those letters were found by investigators in Johnson’s Brown Deer home while investigating the other cases.
According to the amended criminal complaint, victim #4 is now 24 years old and in prison. After finding his letters, investigators interviewed him.
“He had said that Mr. Johnson had sexually assaulted him and it started with him touching and rubbing on him, to him performing oral sex on Mr. Johnson which he says was approximately five times. He estimated and that was around when he was the age of eight,” said Brown Deer Police Officer Melissa Fus.
The alleged victim told detectives the sexual abuse escalated — and when asked how often it happened, he replied, “All the time.”
According to the complaint, like some of the others, the alleged victim’s parent encouraged him to spend time with Johnson because he was thought to be a good role model. The complaint says the sexual abuse occurred at Johnson’s residences, including the one in Brown Deer, over many years — between 1997 and until June 2013.
Johnson had already faced the following charges (14 total counts):
- second degree sexual assault — two counts
- child enticement (exposing sex organ)
- sexual assault of a child under 13 years of age — four counts
- repeated sexual assault of a child
- attempted second degree sexual assault
- exposing genitals or pubic area — three counts
- third degree sexual assault — two counts
A preliminary hearing for Johnson was set for Monday, August 12th. While Johnson appeared in court, the judge pushed the date for the hearing to Wednesday, August 21st in light of the new criminal charges in the case.
Of the many charges against Johnson, some carry maximum prison sentences of 60, 40 and 25 years.