Wisconsin Billionaire Samuel Curtis Johnson III Sentenced to 4 Months In Jail for Molesting 12-Year-Old Stepdaughter
A billionaire who confessed to repeatedly molesting his stepdaughter starting when she was 12 years old was sentenced by a Wisconsin judge to four months behind bars, and will be eligible for release after just 60 days. The confessed child molester will also be spared sex offender registration.
Samuel Curtis Johnson III, heir to the SC Johnson fortune, accepted a plea deal in which original charges of felony sexual assault on a minor child were reduced to misdemeanor fourth degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz handed down the sentence in a Racine courtroom, rejecting Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak’s request for maximum sentencing under the reduced charges, which would be a year in the county jail.
Gasiorkiewicz said he was “troubled” by the prosecution’s recommendation and that he’d never seen the state seek a maximum sentence for a first-time offender. Instead, he heeded the defense’s suggested sentence. Johnson attorney Michael F. Hart successfully argued that his client had no previous criminal record and lived a productive life.
Part of that life included sexually assaulting his stepdaughter between 15 and 20 times beginning when she was 12 and ending when she was 15 years old. His victim, who is now 17 and living in North Carolina, did not want Johnson prosecuted and fought efforts to bring her to Wisconsin to testify against him.
ThinkProgress reports the victim came forward to report the abuse to her mother in the hope that it would prevent Johnson, who she told police was a “sex addict,” from molesting her younger sister.
In addition to serving at least 60 days in jail, Johnson must pay a maximum fine of $6,000. His estimated net worth is $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.
Johnson is the latest super-rich defendant to receive a remarkably lenient sentence for remarkably heinous sex crimes against children. DuPont heir Robert H. Richards V was recently convicted of repeatedly raping his daughter for years, beginning when she was 3. But Richards was spared prison, with Delaware Judge Jan Jurden noting that he would “not fare well” behind bars.