Sex offender seeks new trial, alleges juror interference led to wrongful conviction

On November 10, Anthony Chase Johnson faces the prospect of more than a decade in state prison and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender if his conviction for raping a young girl by a Luzerne County jury stands. Johnson, 31, is seeking a new trial due to allegations of juror interference. His attorney, Frank T. McCabe II, filed a motion for “extraordinary relief” claiming that a juror was acquainted with both Johnson and the victim.

Following a two-day trial in front of Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. on June 28, Johnson was convicted of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, indecent exposure, and corruption of minors. The charges stem from allegations that Pennsylvania State Police at Shickshinny brought against Johnson in September 2021, after a woman accused him of repeatedly raping her for over a year in the early 2010s while they were living in the same house in Union Township. It’s important to note that Johnson is not related to the woman.

Originally, Johnson was set to be sentenced this week, but Sklarosky postponed the hearing and scheduled a motions hearing for November 30 instead. In a letter reportedly penned by Johnson from the county correctional facility on October 5, he claimed that his trial was “a miscarriage of justice” due to the fact that the jury forewoman was known to him and the alleged victim and her family.

In the motion for extraordinary relief, McCabe revealed that a private investigator he hired had found evidence of a juror maintaining a friendly relationship with at least one prosecution witness, and had even uncovered social media communications between the juror and the witness. McCabe argues in his motion that this potential act of juror misconduct taints the jury’s June 28 verdict, and warrants a mistrial.


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