‘Security guard’ kissing suspect pleads not guilty

Jerry Johnson, 44, suspected of kissing and approaching women in SE Portland

Jerry Johnson, 44, arrested for sex abuse after approaching women in Portland (MCSO)
Jerry Johnson, 44, arrested for sex abuse after approaching women in Portland (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The man who claims to be a private, licensed security guard entered a not guilty plea Monday to one count of third-degree sexual abuse.

Jerry Johnson, 44, is accused of kissing a volunteer at OMSI on July 12, 2014, Portland police said. He was arraigned Monday afternoon in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

A man who claims to work as a security guard near OMSI and the Tillikum Crossing bridge is being sought for inappropriately touching two women, July 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)
A man who claims to work as a security guard near OMSI and the Tillikum Crossing bridge is being sought for inappropriately touching two women, July 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)

The victim, who KOIN 6 News has chosen not to identify, told detectives that she was escorting a man, who she thought may have been a former security guard, to the bathroom when the man started making “odd” comments, court documents state.

The man, the woman told police, said “I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” and “I really need to give you a massage,” court documents state.

The woman then realized that she did not know the person she was escorting, court documents state.

Johnson does not work for OMSI, officials confirmed.

When the man asked the woman to wait for him while he used the bathroom, the victim declined and that’s when the suspect stated, “at least give me a hug,” or words to those effect, prosecutor Chris Ramras states in court documents.

The victim reluctantly hugged the man and then tried to pull away, police said. The man tightened his grip and then started to kiss the woman’s neck, Ramras states. The man kissed the woman’s chin, court documents state.

Police had several similar reports of a man, matching Johnson’s description, approaching women and making unwanted contact in the lower Southeast Portland area around OMSI.

Court documents do not state how police were able to determine that the man who kissed the victim was Johnson.

Officer Robert Bruders learned that Johnson was a security guard for a private company, court documents state.

Detectives interviewed Johnson who claimed he was a security guard, and was certified with the state. Johnson told police that he had quit on July 17. Police said it was because of the intense scrutiny the case was receiving in the media.

Johnson reportedly acknowledged that he used to drive a black van with a “security” sign taped to the side of the van, court documents state. Police had earlier said they were looking for a blue or black van that may be associated to a security company.

Johnson also acknowledged that he recalled telling one woman that she was “beautiful” when she walked by and asked her if she wanted to “hook up,” court documents state.

Officials said Johnson admitted he was working as a security guard on July 12 and approached an OMSI worker. Johnson, however, claimed that the volunteer was excited to see him and gave him a court, documents state.

Johnson stated that he knew he was not supposed to kiss women when he was on duty but said he “was having marital problems and was lonely,” court documents state.

Johnson entered a not guilty plea and is expected back in court Aug. 1, 2014.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story misidentified the suspect as working for OMSI. He did not work for OMSI. KOIN.com regrets the misidentification.

 

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