Louisa, VA—A man walked into a Louisa County elementary school, followed a young boy into a bathroom and was alone with the child for several minutes. The boy later told his parents he'd been molested. After a chilling video captured the incident, the man has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery of a child.
On March 6, 2012, 45-year-old Leslie Rayford Johnson, Jr. walked into Jouett Elementary School in Louisa County. Surveillance footage shows Johnson standing around in the lobby of the school, as if he is waiting for someone to come to the office window.
Suddenly, a 10-year-old boy walked out of the school office. After checking to see if anyone was looking, Johnson followed the boy into a bathroom, where he was alone with him for several minutes.
A school custodian happened to walk into the bathroom, and Johnson rushed out, acting strangely. The boy can then be seen exiting the restroom, alone. Later that same evening, he told his parents that Johnson had sexually assaulted him.
After Johnson was identified as the man in the video, he was quickly arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery. He has since pled guilty in court.
Johnson was sentenced to 20 years, with 15 years suspended. He will also be forced to register as a sex offender.
Dr. Deborah Pettit, Superintendent of Louisa County Public Schools, says the crime is "heartbreaking," and adds, "I feel a huge responsibility for every child here."
Maj. Donald Lowe, of the Louisa County Sheriff's Department, told 8News that the case hits close to home...some of his grandchildren attend Jouett Elementary.
"It's really heart wrenching, frustrating and you get angered over it," Maj. Lowe says.
Johnson was on an approved pick-up list at the school, since he regularly picked up young relatives there. In court, it was also revealed that he has absolutely no criminal history. When asked how Johnson could have gained access to the school and chase after a child without attracting any attention, school officials relayed that their budget forced them to cut some security measures.
The district used to have door monitors stationed in the lobby, but at the time of Johnson's attack, these monitors were no longer in Louisa schools.
"With our budget restraints, we did away with those positions," explained Dr. Pettit. "We used [the] secretary from the office to check individuals in."
Jouett Elementary School principal Mike Pelloni said there was a secretary on duty at the time of the crime, but that she may have been distracted with work.
"There was a secretary there, but at one point she was doing other duties and responsibilities and her back may have been turned from the window," said Principal Pelloni.
Since the attack, Jouett Elementary and other schools in Louisa County have enacted new security measures. Someone is stationed at a desk in the front lobby at aSince the attack, Jouett Elementary and other schools in Louisa County have enacted new security measures. Someone is stationed at a desk in the front lobby at all times. Also, all bathrooms are now clearly marked for either adult or student use.
Principal Pelloni adds, ""we definitely don't want to have adults and students behind closed doors, so we've tried to create student-only areas and adult-only areas, because once somebody steps behind a closed door, you can't really monitor what's happening."
Stay with 8News for updates.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
301 Arboretum Place, Richmond
Can't find something?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.