For Immediate Release: 10/17/17
Baltimore — Violent Repeat Offender Anthony Johnson was sentenced to Life, suspend all but 50 years, plus an additional 633 years — the first 80 without parole — after being convicted at trial of sexually assaulting a teenage girl and pleading guilty to more than a dozen armed robberies and 18 counts of felony drug distribution offenses. The court sentenced Johnson to Life, suspend all but 50 years, in prison for the sexual assault with a consecutive 20 years for a handgun charge. Subsequently, Johnson pled guilty to the robberies and drug offenses, for which the court imposed a sentence totaling 600 years. Following his pleas, Johnson was sentenced to an additional 13 years consecutive to the other sentences for a violation of probation.
Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) Rich Gibson of the Major Investigations Unit (MIU) prosecuted the sex offense case. Gibson and ASA Michael Turiello of the Criminal Strategies Unit (CSU) prosecuted the robbery and drug cases.
The facts at trial revealed that on or about June 27, 2016, at approximately 5:00 p.m., detectives assigned to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Sex Offense Unit were contacted in relation to an attack on a 16-year-old victim.
Detectives were advised that at approximately 3:30 p.m., the victim was walking from a Walgreens Drug Store and took a short cut through an alley near the rear of Harford Heights Elementary School, located in the 1900 block of North Broadway Street. While at that location, an unknown male in his 20’s with a brown complexion, close-cut hair on his head, and a goatee approached her.
The victim stated that the man — later identified as Johnson — pulled out a gun and told her to be quiet. Johnson then asked if the victim had any money. The victim indicated that she only had “5 cents.” The attacker then said, “Do you want to die?” The victim replied, “No.” Johnson then said, “Do you want to have sex with me? You do if you don’t want to die.” The young woman was then sexually assaulted at gunpoint. Once the attack was over, the victim ran away and contacted the police.
Gibson was coordinating with a fellow MIU prosecutor on a separate investigation when they intercepted a jail call that revealed a plot to frame an innocent man for Johnson’s crimes. Further investigation revealed that an accomplice helped Johnson carry out a string of more than a dozen armed robberies of young cisgender and transgender women.
“The defendant chose vulnerable cisgender and transgender women to rob and sexually assault. The members of the LGBT community warned each other of this serial predator,” said LGBTQ Community Liaison Merrick Moise. “We can breathe a brief sigh of relief that this vicious and callous individual has been brought to justice. The community is thankful for the BPD and our prosecutors’ diligent efforts in ending his dangerous spree of violence.”
Once Johnson was convicted in the sexual assault trial, he then elected to take an open plea to all remaining counts stemming from the armed robbery conspiracy and 18 counts from the undercover drug investigation. Johnson, by taking the open plea, essentially agreed to allow the Court to determine his sentence without a binding plea agreement in place between his counsel and the State.
“Another violent repeat predator will never again see the light of day following the imposition of a Life plus 600 year sentence thanks to the investigate work from BPD and my Major Investigation Unit," said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Prior to sentencing, the State presented several victims who explained in great detail how Johnson’s crimes had affected them. ASA Gibson made clear that Johnson’s record and prior criminal activity—which also included a shooting conviction— warranted a substantial sentence.
"Anthony Johnson was a menace to society, he sexually assaulted an underage young lady, robbed 15 victims, and then conspired to frame an innocent person for his violent actions,” said ASA Rich Gibson. “He is the reason why the Major Investigations Unit exists. We are grateful that the judge sentenced him appropriately for his heinous conduct and we obtained justice for our victims."