No movement from state Supreme Court in Johnson case

2014-02-10T13:53:00Z 2014-02-28T17:48:39Z No movement from state Supreme Court in Johnson caseKRISTEN ZAMBO kristen.zambo@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — Time and time again, a judge has checked whether the Wisconsin Supreme Court is sending a high-profile child sexual assault case involving Curt Johnson back to Racine County.

And each time, the judge has had to sit and wait. That wait — through six status conferences since the state’s highest court ruled on July 3 that Johnson’s stepdaughter may testify against him without first releasing her medical records — continued on Monday.

“I looked again today and there’s been no release of this case that’s been noted,” Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz said during the two-minute status conference late Monday morning.

Johnson, 58, an heir to the Johnson family household products fortune, is accused of molesting his teenage stepdaughter for three years while she and her mother lived in Racine County.

The case remains under appeal. State Supreme Court justices haven’t acted on motions to reconsider rulings they made in the case in July — meaning the Racine County case remains in a holding pattern.

Gasiorkiewicz set another status conference for March 26.

“That’s a return date for documents from Arizona, if they are here,” Gasiorkiewicz said, adding he plans to read them privately, a legal procedure known as an in-camera review.

The molestation allegations surfaced when Johnson allegedly told his therapist in Arizona that he inappropriately touched his “daughter.” Arizona law requires that health care providers, such as therapists, report suspected child sexual assaults.

Prosecutors are seeking to use those comments during Johnson’s trial.

But his case remains with Wisconsin’s highest court. No time line for its return has been issued.

The Racine County case has been on hold for more than two years while both sides have appealed a series of rulings — including the teen’s and her mother’s refusal to release the girl’s medical records.

Johnson, of Wind Point, is the former chairman of Diversey Inc. and a son of the late SC Johnson chairman, Sam Johnson. Curt Johnson is charged with repeated sexual assault of the same child for allegedly molesting his stepdaughter.

He pleaded not guilty on April 13, 2011.

He was charged in March 2011 after his stepdaughter, then 15, alleged he sexually assaulted her. The purported molestation began when she was 12 years old, according to court records.

The girl, now 18, and her mother live in North Carolina.

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