Prosecutors in Curt Johnson Child Sex Assault Trial Ask for Delay

The Racine County District Attorney's office wants Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz to postpone Curt Johnson's trial because the Maricopa County Circuit Court in Arizona wants an in camera review of his alleged confession.

The child sex assault case against billionaire Curt Johnson is scheduled to begin Monday, but prosecutors are asking the judge for a delay.

In a motion filed April 16, the Racine County District Attorney's office stated it will ask Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz for a delay at 1:30 p.m. Monday because the therapist to whom they thought Johnson made his alleged confession may not be the person who heard the statement.

Jury selection is supposed to start at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Johnson faces one felony count of repeated sexual assault of a same child for allegedly touching and kissing a young girl inappropriately over a number of years. The victim reported that Johnson also asked her to have sex with him but she refused.

According to the motion, Dr. Douglas Withrow was believed to be a person to whom Johnson supposedly admitted to touching the girl when Johnson was visitng the Psychologoical Counseling Services in Arizona in February 2011. He is listed as the mandatory reporter in case documents, but at a hearing April 12 in Maricopa County Circuit Court, attorneys for the clinic stated Withrow was not the person and it would not be appropriate for him to travel to Wisconsin to testify.

The hearing was part of the standard procedure for bringing witnesses from another state to Wisconsin to participate in a trial.

In addition to denying that Withrow is the therapist to whom Johnson made his alleged confession, the clinic did not offer the name of the appropriate person and attorneys objected to releasing Johnson's record for confidentiality reasons.

More, the Maricopa County judge presiding over the hearing has ordered Johnson's records compiled to give to the court of an in camera review.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak stated in his motion that through the in camera review he hopes to get details about who may have heard Johnson's statement and what that statement entails. Until a therapist is under subpeona and the records are in his possession, Repischak thinks a delay is appropriate.

The defense, of course, objects to the prosecution's motion. Attorneys Richard Hart and Mark Richards say in their motion that the DA's office had "ample time to identify witnesses and get their cooperation."

They also question why the state doesn't explain why the Arizona court hearing was scheduled at such a late date.

"The state's motion provides no compelling reason to adjourn the firm trial date that has been in place for months, and that Johnson has relied upon," the defense motion concludes.

Johnson was charged March 23, 2011 with . The state last month filed motions to add three felony counts of incest by a stepparent, but because prosecutors didn't file the amended charges by Jan. 23, Gasiorkiewicz ruled against the state.

The charges came after Johnson allegedly admitted to his therapist in Arizona that he inappropriately touched a young girl. That counselor reported the information to the Racine County Human Services who then contacted the Racine County Sheriff's office.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl told police Johnson touched her, kissed her and asked her to have sex with him numerous times over several years. Now a teenager, the girl said the abuse may have started when she was in sixth or seventh grade.

Johnson is one of the billionaire heirs to the SC Johnson fortune. He was head of Mount Pleasant-based Diversey, Inc. until February 2011 when he stepped down for personal reasons.

Kelley Herrick April 18, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Oh bother...we have an Indiana man arrested in Caledonia for not registering as a sex offender and yet we let this man off the hook (which it's coming..you can read it weekly with the actions of all involved) because of the Almighty Dollar. We aren't talking here about anything more than money talking and a delusional family as to what is and has happened historically with this man. Research shows this type of male will never change and it's just a waiting game for it to happen yet again with another young child/woman. Shame we can't protect our children properly and instead focus on our personal life and luxury. Another contribution to our world breaking down. I feel for the children around him and have no pity for the co-dependent people in his life.
Marc April 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM
You can't tell me money isn't behind this. Laws are different for rich people. What a sham!
James R Hoffa April 19, 2012 at 10:56 PM
@The Racine Truth - Seeing as how the Wisconsin Court of Appeals was the one to issue the controlling decisions on the issues in the case that you reference in your little rant, I really don't see how campaign contributions or a personal bias on Gasiorkiewicz's behalf comes into play here. Everyone appears to think that Johnson is guilty of the accused crime just because he is wealthy. I thought our system of justice was premised upon the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven beyond some legal standard, here all reasonable doubt. And that's a standard that applies to everyone, rich or poor. You rattle off about everyone being equal in the eyes of the law, but would deny the man his legally entitled presumption of innocence just because of his wealth - that is laughable at best sir! Not very much 'truth' in your propaganda, is there? Perhaps it's time for a screen name change to something a bit more appropriate!
The Racine Truth April 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
@ Mr. Hoffa: I have read many of your posts, and you are a typical right wing wacko. Typically you comment before you know all the facts. Of course, you also think you know it all when you actually know absolutely nothing. Mr. Hoffa, if you have followed the Curt Johnson story, then you have also read the police report on the Child Molestation. If you read that police report, there is no doubt that Curt Johnson is absolutely guilty!! Now, I could see a situation were the police could get a few things wrong, and if indeed it was a close call, then with those few things wrong, the person would be found innocent. However, if you read that police report, there is absolutely no way given the gravity of what is stated to have occurred, and given the sources of those statements, that the police have it all wrong. In fact, even if you give Curt Johnson the benefit of the doubt and say that 80% of the police report is wrong and full of lies, the remaining 20% is more than enough to convict. Bottom line, there is no doubt he is guilty. The only question is how will he walk? I say either Gasiorkiewicz will dismiss the case before there ever is a trial OR a trial will be held, he will be found guilty, and then when Gasiorkiewicz sentences him, he lets Curt Johnson off with probation. Curt Johnson's actual guilt or lack thereof has nothing to do with his wealth. How this turns out in the justice system has everything to do with his wealth. That the point you miss.
The Racine Truth April 23, 2012 at 06:36 PM
@ Mr. Hoffa: So you think that because Gasiorkiewicz receives campaign money (among his largest contributors) from both Helen Johnson and Gene Johnson, he will show no favortism? You also think the political weight that the Johnson family carries in this community will never be considered by Gasiorkiewicz. I image you also are not one of those people that is pre-deposed to stand up for whatever your source of a making a living may be. So, If I give you the benefit of any doubt and agree that Gasiorkiewicz is not human and he will ignore all of these side pressures (which he won't), but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. We you then agree that when Gasiorkiewicz does fail to hold Curt Johnson accountable for breaking the laws of society, that it is Judge Gasiorkiewicz that should be held accountable for failing to do so and he should be removed from the bench in the next election? Or, do you want to have your cake and eat it also. That is, get your right wing friend Curt Johnson off, while keeping your right wing friend Gasiorkiewicz on the bench to help out all the right wing wackos when they get in trouble?


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