77-year-old pastor found guilty of child rape and sexual abuse

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Carlton Lindbergh Johnson, a 77-year-old pastor, was found guilty on three charges of raping and sexually abusing minors yesterday in Muskegon, Michigan. Johnson was arrested in June of 2013 following allegations to police from one of the victims in 2012.

Johnson — who held a position as church leader at the Faith Congregational Church of God in Christ in the Jackson Hill neighbourhood of Muskegon — awaits sentencing in June for the two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. By their testimony, two of the women were between thirteen and fifteen when Johnson assaulted them, and one only ten. A woman of seventy testified to being assaulted by Johnson as early as 1957.

Rachael McEnhill, assistant prosecutor for Muskegon County, was asked why it had taken so long for victims to come forward: "I think that there was a lot of family pressure and pressure within the church. And according to the expert that testified, it is very common for people to go their entire lives without disclosing sexual abuse."