Why were charges against an accused child molester in Vanderburgh county dropped? That is the question many are asking. As we reported Tuesday, prosecutors dropped charges against Gregory Johnston for what they say was the health and well-being of the victim.
We spoke with a criminal defense attorney. He says one reason these charges could have been dropped is because of a law that allows an accused person the right to face their accuser in court. And if the goal of the prosecutor’s office was to protect the child, this might have been too much for them.
The husband of a daycare owner was put in jail back in February on charges of molesting a child under the age of 14, among a list of other things.
Now charges for Gregory Johnston have been dropped. The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office says it was upon the recommendation from therapists and community partners, a decision to delay prosecution.
They say their goal is to hold any criminal to justice:
“… however, the health and well-being of our victim is of the utmost importance and must take priority.”Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office
Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Danks says the details of this specific case he can’t speak to, but he knows Indiana law has some language about how the accused are treated in court.
“Indiana Constitution gives every person accused of a crime the right to meet their witnesses — the witnesses that will be used against them in court — face-to-face,” Johnathan Danks says.
The child spoke to someone at Holly’s House about the incident.
They say now, the focus needs to be on protecting the victim.
“What is important for everyone to understand when cases like this get a lot of media attention is we can’t lose sight of the fact that children get abused,” Holly Edmond says. “And the path to mental and physical wellness anyone may or may not follow the same path as the criminal justice system.”
The Prosecutor’s Office didn’t want to comment any further than they have already. They did say though they have the right to re-file charges in the future. We checked Johnston’s criminal history. We found nothing beyond several traffic violations.