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KCSO arrests former deputy on sex charges

Posted: October 13, 2011 5:55 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrested a former deputy early Wednesday morning, charging him with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under 11 years of age. Sheriff Jim Matthews confirmed that Nakia Karrien Johnson, 36, who currently serves with the Fairfax Police Department in Allendale County, worked as a KCSO deputy from November 1999 to April 2001.

Matthews said Johnson also once worked for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He said the victim is the daughter of Johnson’s girlfriend who lives in Cassatt, and that deputies responded to the home around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Matthews, the girl’s mother heard her daughter and Johnson engaged in sexual activity when Johnson inadvertently dialed her on his cell phone.

“When the mother answered the phone, she heard conversation between her daughter and (Johnson) describing the sexual encounter as it was happening,” Matthews said. “The victim’s mother repeatedly called the suspect and, when he eventually answered, she demanded that he bring her daughter back home.”

Matthews said Johnson drove the girl home where her mother confronted him. He said Johnson then drove back to where he lives in Fairfax. According to online mapping programs Fairfax is a nearly two and a half hour drive from Cassatt.

The sheriff said investigators interviewed the girl and determined that Tuesday night’s assault actually took place in Lee County and alerted the sheriff’s office there. Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon said his agency will also be charging Johnson with criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 11.

“We are still investigating,” Johnson said, indicating the Lee County Sheriff’s Office may file other charges.

Matthews said investigators learned that Johnson allegedly abused the girl sexually for several years in Kershaw County. He said the victim was transported to a medical facility where she was examined by medical personnel and where she provided additional information.

The sheriff said the KCSO contacted Fairfax Police Chief Marvin Williams and advised him of the situation.

“Chief Williams contacted Johnson and instructed him to return to Kershaw County,” Matthews said.

The sheriff said Johnson was interviewed by Kershaw and Lee County investigators and then arrested on a Kershaw County warrant.

“Criminal sexual conduct against children are, in themselves, very disturbing crimes. The fact that a police officer, someone who is charged with protecting and serving the public, makes this crime even more disturbing,” Matthews said. “I don’t believe in coincidences or luck, but this criminal activity would have gone on and on if Johnson had not accidentally dialed the victim’s mother who was able to hear what was going on.”

Matthews confirmed that Johnson and the victim’s mother lived together in Cassatt at some point in the past, but was unsure of the exact nature of their current relationship. He also said just because Johnson has been arrested doesn’t mean the investigation is over. That’s because Johnson is denying the allegations, he said.

“We’re still tying up loose ends. We’re conducting forensic interviews and we’re obtaining search warrants for his phone -- there’s other evidence on the phone we’re looking at and we’re waiting for DNA evidence to come back,” Matthews said.

Late Thursday morning, Matthews said he had learned that Johnson had inappropriate contact with the victim in multiple jurisdictions. He said investigators now believe he sexually assaulted the girl several times each in Kershaw, Lee and Allendale counties and on a trip to Disney World.

Due to the seriousness of Johnson’s charges, a bond hearing will be conducted in front of a circuit court judge. The next term of court in Kershaw County is scheduled to begin Monday.

Also awaiting a bond hearing during next week’s term for similar charges is Ronald Linwood Christmas, 41, of Elgin. Christmas is accused of sexually assaulting his juvenile stepdaughter on several occasions during an approximately four-year period when the now 12-year-old girl was between the ages of 5 and 8.

A bond hearing is also expected for Franklin Graham, of Columbia, arrested a week ago for allegedly carjacking a woman in Columbia and raping her off of I-20 in Kershaw County. Officers from multiple jurisdictions captured Graham after a 12-hour-long search in Marion County where the car he stole ran out of gas.

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