A man who took a Columbia County teen across state lines for a sexual encounter pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal crime punishable by 10 years to life in prison.
Jason A. Johnson, 38, pleaded to a single count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Johnson has been in custody since December 2016 when he was arrested in Seiverville, Tenn., with a 15-year-old Evans girl.
The federal indictment accused him of taking the victim to South Carolina to engage in sex between August and Dec. 10, 2016. Johnson lived in North Augusta, according to earlier reports in The Augusta Chronicle.
An Amber Alert was raised when the teen went missing a day after she was in juvenile court for being a runaway and the relationship with Johnson was discovered. Johnson allegedly told the teen he would kill himself if she didn’t stay with him.
Johnson was indicted on the federal charge in January. He was also indicted in Columbia County on charges of two counts of aggravated child molestation, and a single count each of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly providing the teen with methamphetamine. He pleaded not guilty in Superior Court on March 31. Those charges are still pending.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.