Saturday, April 21, 2012

California: Rapist of Australian Tourist, 47, Gets Eight Years in Prison

As a follow-up to my March 13, 2012, posting, Akeem Jelani Johnson, 28, was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday (April 20) in connection with the rape of an Australian tourist, 47, as well as having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The victim, who was visiting family in Tustin, CA on November 25, 2010, was alone and intoxicated at a local bar when she encountered the assailant. He subsequently escorted her to his parked SUV just after midnight, when he took advantage of the victim and raped her in the backseat of his vehicle, before convincing a couple buddies to help him lift and carry the woman to the alley. She was passed out as she was dumped onto an old, dirty mattress.

COMMENT: In her victim impact statement, which was read to the court before he was convicted, the woman said: "My confident nature has taken a beating. I have become anxious around male strangers. I have trouble functioning without fear and anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings and become nervous of anyone coming too close to my personal space...This whole ordeal has changed me for life. I will never be the same person I was before Thanksgiving 2010."

Fortunately, a Good Samaritan passing by heard the victim in the alley and drove her to a local police station where she could be helped.

Considering that the stated goal of my daily blog is not to criticize victims, but for readers to learn from their misfortune, a lesson learned from the case is that solo travelers take steps not to become overly intoxicated while abroad, as such situations definitely render them vulnerable to being victimized.

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