The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 14, 2014

Another Baxter Springs resident facing child sex charges

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Authorities arrested another Baxter Springs resident this week on charges of having sexual contact with children.

Agents with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Baxter Springs police arrested Paul D. Johnson, 60, at his home on Wednesday in the wake of allegations of sexual contact with children as recently as this year and dating back as far as 2008.

Cherokee County Attorney Nathan Coleman has filed 15 felony counts on Johnson, including 10 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, three counts of indecent liberties with a child and single counts of criminal sodomy and indecent solicitation of a child.

Similar to charges brought Feb. 5 against Stanley Pickering, 79, a former Baxter Springs city councilman and former school crossing guard, Johnson is accused of victimizing three children. But the town’s police chief, Mike Kliewer, declined to say Friday whether the two cases are related.

Kliewer said Johnson is retired and does not hold a job that brings him into daily contact with children. The chief declined to discuss the context in which Johnson’s alleged abuse of children took place.

Investigators served a search warrant on Johnson’s home when they arrested him and seized some unspecified items.

Nine of the 10 counts of aggravated indecent liberties filed on Johnson pertain to a child identified only by initials and younger than 14 at the time of the abuse. Those counts allege that Johnson engaged in lewd fondling or touching of the child on nine occasions between Jan. 1, 2011, and Feb. 7, 2014.

The 10th count of aggravated indecent liberties, one of the three counts of indecent liberties and the count of criminal sodomy pertain to a second child who was younger than 14 when the first instance of lewd fondling or touching took place between Jan. 1, 2008, and Aug. 31, 2009.

Johnson is accused of sodomizing the second child between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2011, when the child was 14 to 16 years old. The count of indecent liberties with the second child took place in the same time frame.

The other two counts of indecent liberties and the single count of solicitation pertain to a third child who was between the ages of 14 and 16 when the alleged contacts took place in 2010.



High bond

Paul D. Johnson remained in custody Friday at the Cherokee County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

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