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AUGUST 18, 1997

Local News

Child porn charges against plastic surgeon dropped

  by Andrew Walgamott
   A King County Superior Court judge ruled that child pornography allegedly found on a Bothell cosmetic surgeon's computer can't be admitted as evidence in court, and dismissed possession charges against him August 8.
   Police allegedly found child porn on computer disks and hard drive files following a series of search warrants served on Gregory Alan Johnson's home computer last March and April, according to King County Prosecutor's Office charging papers.
   But Judge Norma Huggins ruled that police displayed a "material and intentional disregard for the truth in obtaining [an April 10th] warrant," before allegedly finding images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on Johnson's computer hard drive, according to the court. "A seperate search warrant was needed for the hard drive," Dan Donohoe, prosecutor's office spokesman said.
   According to charging papers, in March police found 2,000 depiction's of sex acts on Johnson's disk, some similar to what they believed he committed on female patients in association with rape and assault charges against him.
   Police searching Johnson's computer on a search warrant for further depictions "located unlawful depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," according to filing papers. A warrant was then issued to search for child porn. Allegedly 30-40 such images were found.
   Evidence found during the April searches will be suppressed and is now inadmissible in court under Judge Huggin's ruling. Evidence discovered in March 13 and March 17 search warrants of Johnson's home won't be admitted either, except for photos and papers seized from a trash receptacle, according to the court.
   The state has since withdrawn their charges of possession of child porn. Julie Spector, Johnson's attorney, was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
   Johnson, 46, still faces charges of second-degree rape, second-degree assault and two counts of indecent liberties. He is accused of allegedly anesthetizing then raping and assaulting a 33-year-old Woodinville woman in his Carillon Point office March 11-12. A number of Johnson's ex-patients contacted Kirkland police after charges came to light, claiming he had fondled them as well.
   His case is expected to go to trial October 8. The state Medical Quality Assurance Commission summarily suspended Johnson's medical license March 18. Johnson will have the opportunity to have a formal hearing before the assurance commission Feb. 4-6, 1998 after his trial, and assuming he is found not guilty, according to Lisa Pigott, commission administrative assistant.