The convoluted story of a verbal commitment to Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class has taken yet another damaging twist, with the 19-year-old facing his second serious legal charge this month.
According to the Mobile Press-Register, Spanish Fort (Ala.) high schooler Deon “D.J.” Johnson has been charged with first-degree rape and booked into the Baldwin County Correctional facility. He is being held without bond.
On Sept. 6, Johnson was arrested on charges of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy. The only details released at the time of the first arrest were that the alleged victim was a juvenile and her parents had notified authorities.
A police official told the Press-Register that this alleged victim is not the same victim in the first incident.
“It was not related whatsoever to the first case,” Daphne Police Lt. Jud Beedy said. “It was a new victim. She contacted another law enforcement agency, and they referred her to us. We’ve been pursuing it for a few weeks with the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Human Resources. We discovered enough evidence to get a warrant for his arrest.”
Here’s a description from the paper regarding the differences between first- and second-degree rape in the state of Alabama:
Alabama law defines second-degree rape as having intercourse with someone younger than 16 but older than 12, as long at the defendant is at least two years older than the victim.
A defendent is charged with first-degree rape, according to state law, if “he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion;” or “he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated;” or “he or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.”
First-degree rape is a Class-A felony, which could carry a life sentence.
The paper notes that “Johnson… has remained a student at Spanish Fort since his first arrest and has been eligible to play football.” He did not play in the first two games of the season, but did take the field for the first time in 2012 this past weekend. He was arrested at his high school Tuesday afternoon.
How these very serious and significant charges — if they even have any merit — will impact his recruitment on the part of the Tide remains unclear.
Rivals.com has Johnson rated as a three-star prospect, ranked as the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Alabama. As a junior last season, Johnson had 63 receptions and 19 touchdown catches.
In addition to the Tide, Johnson also held offers from, among others, LSU, Auburn and Mississippi State.