Affluenza strikes yet again.
Samuel Curtis Johnson III is the heir to the SC Johnson & Son company (a family company), you know the people that bring you brands like Ziploc, Windex, Saran, Pledge, and other standard household cleaning products, so he's doing pretty well for himself. Well not really. At all.
In 2011, Johnson faced felony charges for sexual assault of a child, for inappropriately touching his stepdaughter, starting from when she was age 12 to when she was 15 years old. The charges arose from statements Johnson made to his therapist in Arizona, who was required by law to report child abuse. While the charge could have sent him to prison for 40 years, he was sentenced to four months and will only be serving at least 60 days and paying a fine of $6,000. See, despite confessing to his assault, the girl, could not testify against him because she and her mother refused to have her medical records released to confirm the girl reporting the abuse to the her therapist to corroborate her testimony, something that was highly disputed, ruled on, reversed, and then ruled upon again.
As Aviva Shen at Think Progress points out, sexual assault victims' "refusal to cooperate" keeps their attackers off the hook, but circumstances are hardly cut and dry. In this situation, prosecutors pointed out that neither the girl nor the mother wanted to press charges against the billionaire tycoon (the girl, who wanted the case to be dismissed, had moved to North Carolina and fought legal efforts to make her come to Wisconsin to testify), as they could be socially and financially dependent on him. I can't fully blame the now 17-year-old girl for simply wanting to put this behind her.
Johnson ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanors (fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct) instead of the felony charge. Via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak asked for the maximum sentence — nine months in jail on the sexual assault, and 90 days for disorderly conduct, consecutive, to make a year in the county jail.
Michael F. Hart, one of Johnson's attorneys, said maximum terms should be reserved for "maximum defendants," repeat offenders or those who try to disrupt the prosecution of their case. Johnson, he noted, has no prior record and has led an otherwise productive life.
Repeat offender? Three years of sexual abuse to which the criminal in question has confessed, doesn't deem him a repeat offender? Oh, but I'm sure that $60,000 fine will really teach a lesson to S. Curtis Johnson who boasts a net worth of $3 billion.
Image via Shutterstock.