Mitchell man to serve 10 years for child pornJudge sets aside plea agreement, sentences offender to the maximum.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
A Mitchell man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison on two counts of attempted possession of child pornography.
Mark Johnson, 55, received the maximum sentence allowed for his crimes, five years in prison on each count to be served consecutively. Johnson was also fined a total of $2,000.
In January, Johnson pleaded guilty to two charges and in exchange prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of sexual contact with a minor. It was also agreed that the state would not charge Johnson as a habitual offender and would recommend he serve the sentences on the two counts concurrently, or at the same time.
This conviction is the latest in Johnson’s lengthy history of sex-related crimes. He has twice been convicted of sexual contact with a minor, first in 1987 and again in 1993, and was then convicted of failure to register as a sex offender in 2002.
Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins recommended Johnson be sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison on each charge, to be served concurrently.
Johnson’s court-appointed attorney Donna Bucher asked Bjorkman to fashion a sentence that would allow Johnson access to treatment.
“Mark has some serious issues that need to be dealt with,” she said.
Bucher noted that Johnson has already served six months in the Davison County Jail.
Johnson declined to give a statement to the court prior to sentencing.
“Even after those cases, for which you were convicted, you tried to access child porn,” said Judge Tim Bjorkman, addressing Johnson’s criminal record.
Bjorkman set aside the plea agreement and sentenced Johnson to the maximum on each count, and ordered the five-year terms be served consecutively, or one after the other.
As part of the sentence, Bjorkman recommended the South Dakota Department of Corrections get Johnson treatment outlined in a psychosexual evaluation performed prior to sentencing. Johnson was given credit for the six months he has already served.
If it were allowed, Bjorkman said he would have given Johnson even more time in prison.
“I have no sense of assurance that once you’re out of prison you’ll not repeat the sexual offenses you’ve committed in the past,” he said.