North Carolina Man Is Sentenced To Prison For Violating Federal Sex Offender Registration Law
(STL.News) – On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Gregory Michael Johnson, 37, to 38 months in prison for failure to register as a sex offender, in violation of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Judge Bell also ordered Johnson to serve 10 years under court supervision after he is released from prison and to register as a sex offender.
The Sex Offender Registration Act, or SORNA, was enacted in 2006, and aimed to strengthen the existing sex offender registration and notification programs, by providing a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States, and by requiring registered sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction in which they reside, work, or go to school.
According to filed court documents and statements made in court, on August 2, 2016, Johnson was convicted in Iredell County of Sexual Battery, and, as part of his sentence, he was required to register as a sex offender for 30 years. In 2017, prior to his release from prison, Johnson was informed of his registration obligations under SORNA, and signed requisite forms acknowledging that he understood his sex offender registration requirements in the state of North Carolina. On March 7, 2017, Johnson moved to Tennessee, where again he signed the relevant forms acknowledging he understood the state’s sex offender registration requirements.
Court records show that, on at least three different occasions during the relevant time period, Johnson violated SORNA by failing to register as a sex offender and traveling in interstate commerce. Specifically, Johnson failed to update his sex offender registration each time his residential address changed, and failed to register his place of employment. According to court records, Johnson failed to register or update his sex offender registration between April 27, to July 27, 2017; January 28, to June 2, 2018; and September 17, to September 30, 2018.
At Johnson’s sentencing hearing, the Government argued for and secured an enhanced sentence, noting, among other things, the defendant’s repeated failure to comply with SORNA, and the need to promote respect for the law. The Government also noted that Johnson refused to register properly in either North Carolina or Tennessee, despite living in both states at various times.
On December 2, 2019, Johnson pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to register and update registration as required by SORNA, and traveling in interstate commerce. He has been in federal custody since July 8, 2019.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the U.S. Marshals Service for their investigation of this case.