Alleged victim doesn’t show for former coach’s hearing

February 13, 2013

todd johnson LUDINGTON – UPDATED. A case against Todd Lane Johnson was dismissed today after the alleged victim failed to show up to testify. Johnson, 39, of Amber Township, was scheduled to appear in front of 79th District Court Judge Peter Wadel this morning for a preliminary examination.

Because the victim did not show up, Johnson’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the same charge may be refiled against the defendant for the same activity as initially alleged.

“Jeopardy has not attached and the defendant may still be tried for the alleged crime,” Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola explained. In fact, same charge against Johnson has already been refiled in the case and a new preliminary examination will be scheduled by the court.

“I was very surprised that (the victim) did not appear in court,” Spaniola said. “She had been in my office less than 24 hours ago and gave me absolutely no indication that she wouldn’t be appearing in court to testify today. Also, several of her family members were in the courtroom and she didn’t inform them that she wasn’t coming to court.”

Johnson, who is a local businessman and former Mason County Central soccer coach, was arraigned earlier this month on charges of criminal sexual conduct third degree. The alleged victim is a 2011 graduate of MCC.

According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, the alleged conduct had been going on since the victim was 13. A source has told us that the victim was a family friend. Though she was a soccer team member, the accusations are non-school related.

MCC Superintendent Jeff Mount said he became aware of the sheriff’s department investigation on the first day of the current school year, in September. Shortly after that Johnson resigned.

Spaniola said Johnson remains innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Earlier reports indicated the victim no longer lived in the MCC school district. However, according to information obtained by MCP, she does still live in Mason County.

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