The Sweet Taste of Freedom… And Revenge

It puts the lotion on!

On August 20th a St. Louis teen tasted freedom for the first time in 3 long years.  She has allegedly been held captive in the Belleville, Illinois home of Steven Johnson since April 2009.  The teen has told investigators that while trapped in Johnson’s house she endured daily beatings and sexual assaults which led to her becoming pregnant with Johnson’s child.  The teen also claimed that she was forced at gunpoint by Johnson to stay in the house.  A SWAT team invaded the house and arrested Johnson and his mother.  While rading the house, the SWAT team found a gun as well as large amounts of Marijuana and Cocaine.  Steven Johnson has been charged with a felony count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, illegal possession of a deadly weapon, possession of drugs with intent to distribute, and promotion of prostitution.

Steven Johnson pleaded not guilty to the sexual charges against him.  According to Steven and his mother, Owida, the St. Louis teen was Steven’s girlfriend and she was free to go as she pleased.  They even claim that the teen left the house with them to attend family reunions.  According to the Johnsons, this girl came back to the house on her own free will.  However, the Johnsons don’t seem to have an explanation for the teen’s heinous accusations against them.

Is it fair to assume someone’s guilt before the trial takes place?  The whole purpose of our legal system is to protect those from pre-judgement.  Innocent until proven guilty, right?  However, in this case I would say that it is very unlikely that Steven Johnson is innocent.  The allegations made by this teenage girl are brutal and disturbing. Her claims unfortunately make more sense than the alternative provided by the Johnson family (Johnson’s $2 million bond validates my opinion.) There is no justice that can give back the last 3 years of this girls life, but locking Steven and Owida Johnson away forever would be a good start.