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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kenel Man Sentenced for Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Other Domestic Violence Charges

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Kenel, South Dakota, man was sentenced on August 15, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Denny Johnson, age 31, was sentenced to 360 months in custody, 5 years of Supervised Release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $410.

Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 17, 2014.  From May 10, 2016, to May 12, 2016, following a 3-day federal jury trial in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Johnson was found guilty of 2 counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Domestic Assault by an Habitual Offender, and Simple Assault.

The convictions stemmed from incidents between December 29, 2013 and January 10, 2014, when Johnson, who had been in a tumultuous and violent relationship since early 2000 with the victim, began to physically and emotionally abuse her.  Upon arriving home, Johnson began yelling at her because he had been watching her at work and saw her interacting with a co-worker. 

As Johnson was displaying hostility, the victim began to gather her belongings so she could leave.  She put her clothes in a suit case and headed out of the house.  As she opened the door to leave, Johnson suddenly slammed the door shut, told her she was not leaving, grabbed her by her jacket collar, jerked her to the floor, and assaulted her.  As she was lying on the floor, Johnson began to repeatedly kick her on the small of her back.  He knew that she had injured her back previously, which is why he was kicking her there. 

The victim was able to get up and attempted to escape.  Johnson again grabbed her by the jacket, but this time he cut it off of her with a large army knife he had grabbed, chased her into his bedroom, with the knife still in his hand.  He also began throwing household items at her, striking her on the forehead. 

Johnson retrieved her suitcase, opened it, and started taking her clothing out and cutting it with the knife.  The victim tried escape out a window, but she was so nervous she could not unlock the window.  Johnson returned and began walking towards her and menaced her with the knife, which was still in his hand.  The victim was in a fetal position, and Johnson verbally abused her as she pleaded with him.  He used the knife to cut her clothes off.  After removing her undergarments with the knife, he threw her to the ground.  Thereafter, he threw the knife at her, sticking it in the floor beside her, and he told her to kill herself because he could not do it.  The victim refused, stating she had her children to live for so she would not kill herself. 

Johnson retrieved the knife, and kicked her as she tried to crawl away from him.  When she cried out, he told her to be quiet or he would kill her.  Johnson then urinated on the victim.  After urinating on her, Johnson told her that she stunk and ordered her to get into the shower.  He turned on the cold water only and forced her to stay under the water as he poured shampoo, soap, liquid hand soap, dish soap, a bottle of Mr. Clean, and some Clorox on her head and face.  He tried to dilute her with cleaning chemicals.  The victim was pleading with him to stop, but Johnson grabbed a mop bucket with dirty water in it and dumped that on her as well.  Following this, he ordered her out of the shower and told her to go to a bedroom.  Johnson made sure that she did not have any clothes.  Johnson came into the room and raped the victim in several ways.  During the sexual abuse, he hit her in the face, held a knife to her throat, and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

Johnson was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic: 
Violent Crimes
Updated August 16, 2016