Taking less than two hours to deliberate over lunch, a jury on Thursday returned a guilty verdict for the Interstate 35 rock-throwing suspect on an unrelated charge of sexual assault of a child.
Patrick Eugene Johnson, 60, was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the assault along with 75 years for indecency and 20 years for exposure. He’s eligible for parole in 30 years.
Key to prosecutors’ securing the conviction was a recorded phone call set up by detectives. The victim reached out to Johnson, asking if he could stop by Johnson’s trailer for oral sex “like last time.” Johnson responded, “Well, that’s up to you,” and he later told the victim to “come on by later on.”
The victim said he was 13 when he first agreed to oral sex with Johnson in exchange for cash and marijuana. In Texas, the age of consent is 17.
Taking the witness stand on Wednesday, Johnson fashioned himself as a father figure for disadvantaged youths and testified that over the years he has taken in 25 boys and cared for them with basic necessities. The victim in this case was among a group of eight or nine boys — many of them sons of Mexican immigrants — who befriended Johnson and accompanied him on Saturday night cruises around town in Johnson’s car.
Johnson said he never had inappropriate relations with the victim, though Johnson did admit to having sex with one member of the group after he had turned 17.
The next time Johnson steps into a courtroom, it will be for his suspected role in numerous rock-throwing incidents on I-35. Police say that starting in the summer of 2014, Johnson hurled rocks over the median at oncoming traffic. There have been more than 90 reported incidents, including one that left a man blind in one eye. Police have charged Johnson with seven felonies.
Police were already well aware of Johnson, who since June 2014 has called 911 more than 1,110 times.