Here is a scenario: It's Thanksgiving night 2010 and you're a man in a Tustin bar where you see a heavily intoxicated woman, a tourist from Australia and a mother of two kids, who can't even walk on her own. Would you try to help her, ignore her or would you see a cheap opportunity for sex?
For Orange County's Akeem Jelani Johnson, the scenario is not hypothetical. He saw the woman's condition. Indeed, she'd fallen on her face on her way to the bathroom and later dropped all of her money on the floor. But she'd flirted with him and he decided to take advantage of the situation.
Johnson walked the woman outside and in front of two of his buddies got a blow job and then screwed her while the voyeurs cheered him, according to a witness who was at a coin laundry shop across the street.
This witness saw the men dispense with the woman's limp, partially clothed body by carrying her down an alley, tossing her onto a box spring of a mattress and walking away while celebrating their achievement.
The alarmed witness confronted the men, who responded, “What the fuck are you going to do about it?”
He responded by dialing 911 on his cell phone and the scumbags quickly fled.
On the ball police officers using bar surveillance cameras determined Johnson was the key suspect, but during an interrogation he claimed the woman craved him and had been in control. He also insisted he'd abstained from intercourse.
But doctors found Johnson's semen in the woman's mouth and on her vulva. They also observed fresh tears to her anal and vaginal areas as well as cuts on her arms, legs and butt.
Given that information, Johnson, then 26, admitted to the oral copulation and intercourse but claimed he stopped during the sex when he suddenly realized the 48-year-old woman was incoherent.
“We had [vaginal] sex but I . . . when I . . . she was . . . I found out she was intoxicated, I stopped,” he told a police detective. “She was . . . she was really drunk and I was like, 'You know what? I'm over this 'cause it's gonna . . . be something like this [leading to a confrontation with police] so I stopped.”
Johnson–mentored as a teen by the charitable 100 Black Men of Orange County–denied that the woman had been tossed in the alley and declared that she “was cool” being politely left alone and soiled on the dirty mattress.
“It was all consensual,” he explained.
But in California, at least, it is against the law to have sex with a person who is incapacitated.
(Each year around the state, young men try to think up new arguments they hope can circumvent the law and fail.)
Orange County sex crime prosecutors won a 2012 jury trial that convicted Johnson of “rape of an intoxicated person.”
At the sentencing hearing, the defendant claimed he'd been a pawn to the woman's superior powers.
“We were talking about sex throughout the whole night, so I figured, you know, it was consensual,” he told Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen.
A perturbed Jensen replied, “You are, unfortunately living in an antiquated caveman [mentality]. You think in order to rape a woman there has to be violence, kicking, screaming and dragging. Obviously, in your upbringing, you were never taught otherwise, which is a shame.”
Jensen observed that the victim had been on the verge of falling unconscious and been “treated like a piece of shit” during the episode by a person with “deficient manliness.”
Before handing Johnson the maximum punishment, the judge noted the rapist's cocky, foul-mouth attitude when confronted by the witness in the alley.
But Johnson–whose prior record includes punching a store clerk during the theft of beer and stealing pizza from a delivery man–wasn't done.
He appealed, claiming that Jensen's hostile comments rendered his punishment unfair.
This month, a three-justice panel at the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana determined that Jensen's comments may have been “inartfully” expressed but nonetheless voiced “a legitimate concern” about the defendant's conduct and view of women.
The justices refused to overturn the case and the 8-year prison sentence.
According to the California Department of Corrections N Rehabilitation, Johnson is presently housed at Golden State Community Correctional Facility.
(OCWeekly.com's “Citizen of the Week!” periodically highlights the depths of human depravity in Orange County, California.)