May 20, 2006

Alleged lies may stall sex case

Register Citizen

TRACY KENNEDY, Register Citizen Staff

LITCHFIELD - The case against an area religious leader accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl stalled Friday after a judge learned the childís mother was arrested recently for fabricating evidence.

Hope Vaughn, of Torrington, was arrested in March and charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of issuing a false statement. She is accused of making false statements about the evidence collected against the defendant, according to court records.

The Rev. James Willie Johnson, 50, a pastor for the Community Tabernacle Outreach Center on Hewlett Street in Waterbury, was arrested in January 2005 and charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor for allegedly having sexual contact with Vaughnís daughter in May 2004. He waited in the gallery of the Litchfield Superior Court Friday for his case to be called, but left before Judge John Pickard addressed the case.

Johnson is accused of molesting the child in the living room of Vaughnís home after the mother asked him to pick up her daughter from preschool, according to court records. A physical examination revealed the child suffered from injuries consistent with sexual abuse, according to an arrest warrant prepared by Torrington Police.

Johnson maintained since his arrest that he didnít molest the girl.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2006 07:49 AM