Wisconsin billionaire Samuel Curtis Johnson III, heir to the SC Johnson company confessed to repeatedly sexually assaulting his teenage stepdaughter, received a prison sentence of four months according to court records.
Channel 4 News in Milwaukee reported Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz told Johnson, 59, "You could not grow up in this community and not know some of the people involved in this case."
Johnson plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct rather than the felony sexual assault on a minor child charges he originally faced in 2011 reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Prosecutors had to seek lesser charges as they were unable to get cooperation from the victim, Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete said on Friday.
Johnson faced up to 40 years in prison on the initial felony charges that alleged multiple incidents from 2007 to 2010, starting when the girl was 12 years old according to the Chicago Tribune.
"I'd like to deeply apologize to my stepdaughter and my wife... for the tremendous hurt that I have caused," Johnson said during his sentencing.
Johnson's stepdaughter "initially told police Johnson was a 'sex addict' and touched her inappropriately 15 to 20 times. She told her mother about the abuse in order to protect her younger sister, and Johnson confessed when the mother confronted him."
The Raw Story reported Johnson and his legal team have fought the felony charges for three years in a case that has gone to the state Supreme Court twice. Because the victim and her mother were unwilling to testify, the prosecutors had to fall back on a plea deal.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak asked the judge to apply the maximum sentence. Johnson's attorney, Michael Hart argued the maximum terms should be reserved for "maximum defendants," not his client who has no prior record and leads a "productive life."
Gasiorkiewicz found the state's request "troubling" because he has never seen a first-time offender receive the maximum sentence. He sentenced Johnson to four months in jail and a $6,000 fine.
The sentence has people suggesting if people are wealthy they have a different set of rules than most defendants.
In June of last year 16-year-old Ethan Couch of Texas drove drunk and got in an accident that killed four people. His attorney argued the teen had "affluenza", meaning he was privileged to the point that he never learned right from wrong. The teen received no jail time and was sentenced to 10 years probation.
The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize "affluenza" as a diagnosis.
In March, Robert H. Richards, heir to the Du Pont fortune was convicted of raping his 3-year old daughter, and later admitted raping his son beginning when he was 19 months old, was convicted but received no jail time because judge Jan Jurden said he "would not fare well in prison."
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