PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A convicted sex offender who faces nearly two dozen counts of rape and assault may never go to prison.
Lonnie Johnson faces 21 counts of rape sodomy and sexual assault in Utah for alleged crimes committed from 2001 - 2006. After spending two and a half years in a Utah hospital Johnson was released in 2011 after doctors claimed they could not restore his competency.
During a competency hearing in Provo Wednesday, a judge ruled that Lonnie Johnson was incompetent to stand trial for his alleged offenses saying it would violate his Constitutional rights to try him in court. That meant Johnson was allowed to walk out of a Provo court a free man after the proceedings.
The ruling upset one of Johnson’s victims and her mother who told ABC 4 News, "Predators don't just stop being predators."
Under a new Utah law, Johnson could be civilly committed to a state hospital as a “danger to society.” That law does not take effect until May 8th.
Johnson's has a criminal history, including a 1996 stalking charge out of West Jordan. He pleaded guilty, and the charge was eventually dismissed. In 1992, Johnson pleaded guilty to felony theft. He was also convicted of rape in Washington State.