No. 7 Crime Story of the Year: James Eugene Johnson charged with Internet stalking of a child

Friday, December 28, 2012
James Eugene Johnson

GREEN FOREST -- The former building inspector for the city of Green Forest resigned in September after he allegedly sent sexually explicit messages and videos to a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.

James Eugene Johnson, who lives on Oakview Drive in Berryville, was arrested on Sept. 16 in Van Buren, Ark., and charged with Internet Stalking of a Child -- a Class-B felony.

He was released two days later after posting his $6,000 bond and is currently awaiting trial in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Johnson had been in Fort Smith, Ark. -- near Van Buren -- for a work-related training seminar during the week of his arrest.

On the night of Sept. 16, Johnson allegedly used his city-issued laptop to visit a Yahoo chat room, where he met Van Buren Police Sgt. Daniel Perry.

Perry told Johnson he was a 14-year-old girl named Talisha, police reports show. Johnson asked "Talisha" what she wanted to talk about, and Perry asked Johnson what he was in the mood for.

Johnson responded, "I'm 42. What mood do you think I am in?"

Perry then told Johnson Talisha was home alone and bored, and Johnson said he was a "perv."

Johnson asked Talisha about her sexual history, at which point the conversation immediately became sexually explicit, according to the transcript of the chat provided by police to Carroll County News.

Johnson turned his webcam on and exposed himself to Perry for the next 20 minutes, police records show.

The transcript shows that the two chatted for a total of an hour and a half before Johnson agreed to meet for sex at a storefront in Van Buren.

He arrived in his city-issued, white Dodge Dakota and was promptly arrested.

According to police reports, Johnson admitted to believing he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He also admitted to talking about having oral sex together and to exposing himself for an extended length of time on his webcam with the understanding that a minor was watching.

Johnson was placed on leave after his arrest and submitted his resignation letter the following week.

Though Johnson worked for the city of Green Forest, he lived in Berryville and volunteered with the fire department there. He was suspended from the department after his arrest.

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