Whether or not the judge presiding over the child sex assault case of Curt Johnson acted appropriately by continuing to move the case forward could go to the State Supreme Court.
The appellate court on Monday issued its opinion that Gasiorkiewicz ruled appropriately.
If Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz had the authority to move forward after both the prosecution and the defense filed appeals is at the heart of the matter. According to the state Attorney General's office, state statute says the circuit court lost competency when the case moved to the Court of Appeals on Jan. 27. Thus, any ruling made after that date would be void.
Lawyers with the Attorney General's office have 30 days to decide to take the case to the State Supreme Court.
This affects the prosecution because attorneys filed amended charges to include three single counts of incest by a stepparent. At Johnson's Jan. 9 status hearing, Gasiorkiewicz gave the District Attorney's office until Jan. 23 to file any changes, but it didn't adhere to that deadline and instead filed the amendments in February. The judge denied both the original motion and the motion to reconsider because he said to amend the charges impacted the defendant's right to a fair trial.
The appellate court's opinion says that everyone was well aware of the looming trial date and the deadline set during Johnson's Jan. 9 status hearing. More, the judge's ruling was correct to deny both motions from the prosecution.
Both after Gasiorkiewicz ruled that the alleged victim would be able to keep her medical records sealed and be allowed to testify. Prosecutors want the medical records released while defense attorneys want the victim barred from testifying if she doesn't release her records. An opinion from the Court of Appeals is expected before the case against Johnson goes to trial on April 23.
Johnson was with first degree sexual assault of the same child. Since then, he pleaded not guilty and was released on $500,000 bail with the conditions that he remain in the state and surrender his passport. On , allowing him to go to Arizona for therapy, to travel for business and .
One of the billionaire heirs of the SC Johnson family, Johnson ran Diversey, Inc. until Feb. 2010. At that time, he stepped down citing personal problems, and his sister, Helen Johnson-Leopold took the reins. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 40 years in prison.