Utah judge could free 'incompetent' sex offender

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2011 12:25 PM
Utah judge could free 'incompetent' sex offender

Prosecutors in Utah say they'll tell a judge a convicted sex offender facing multiple child sex abuse charges should be held at the state hospital _ and not set free.

A hearing is set for Thursday afternoon in Provo's 4th District Court before Judge James R. Taylor, who will decide if Lonnie Hyrum Johnson is released.

In 2007, Johnson was charged with 21 counts of rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual abuse of a child for alleged acts with a step-daughter and her cousin.

He was deemed incompetent for trial in 2008.

Last month, doctors said that despite treatment, Johnson had not improved. Taylor has said it seems unlikely competency can be restored.

Last week, a civil commitment petition that would have kept Johnson hospitalized was also denied.