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Former Kanawha janitor sentenced to 5 to 25 years

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former janitor for Kanawha County Schools was sentenced Wednesday to five to 25 years in jail.

John Cordell Johnson, 55, of St. Albans, inappropriately touched his former girlfriend's 7-year-old daughter in 2008, a jury found in October.

In 1991, Johnson was convicted of sexual abuse in the third-degree in Kentucky, according to assistant Kanawha prosecutor Fred Giggenbach.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom asked Johnson how he was able to work in the school system for 16 years with that sexual offense on his record, Giggenbach said.

"Well, they checked," Johnson said, according to Giggenbach.

He was fired after being arrested on the sexual abuse charge in Kanawha County, the prosecutor said. He had worked in elementary and high schools around the county as a janitor who also performed maintenance work, Giggenbach said.

Johnson changed his last name from Ramsey in 2012, Giggenbach said, and he has a lengthy criminal history that includes multiple DUI arrests and fleeing from a police officer.

"It's shocking to me that he could have worked in the Kanawha County School system for that long with that type of criminal history," Giggenbach said. After Johnson found out he was being investigated, he sent flowers to the girl at her school, according to Giggenbach.

 

 


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