January 14, 2005

Minister arrested on child sex counts

Waterbury Republican-American

Friday, January 14, 2005

By Brigitte Ruthman

A Waterbury pastor known in the city as a community leader was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Torrington last May.

The Rev. W. James Johnson, 48, formerly of 91 Spring Brook Road, Waterbury, was being held Thursday night in Torrington on $200,000 bond. Torrington detectives picked him up on a warrant Wednesday night in Waterbury, and he was arraigned Thursday in Bantam Superior Court on charges of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor with sexual contact.

Johnson, who is known as Willie, is affiliated with the Community Tabernacle Outreach Center, a Pentecostal church at 12 Hewlett St. in the Overlook section of Waterbury.

Thursday, Judge Charles Gill sealed the warrant for Johnson's arrest and ordered him not to have contact with the victim. Johnson was represented by the Public Defender's Office in court for bond purposes only, according to court officials.

The alleged incident occurred May 14, police said. According to authorities and friends, Johnson was spending time lately in Torrington with relatives and friends. Police declined to comment on how Johnson came into contact with the alleged victim, citing concerns about the victim's identity.

Posted by kshaw at January 14, 2005 08:03 AM