Ghillie Suit Rapist Sentenced to 28 years for child sex crimes

Troy Johnson, the Woongarrah man dubbed the Ghillie Suit Rapist for his sickening abduction and sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl while she walked to school on the morning of May 15, 2017, was sentenced to a maximum of 28 years imprisonment in Gosford District Court on October 1.
Johnson pleaded guilty to 10 charges of kidnapping and aggravated and indecent sexual assault of a minor during a trial held in the same court on January 31 and reappeared on October 1 for sentencing.
In an agreed upon Statement of Facts (SOF) during the January trial it was confirmed Johnson, who was working in Narara as a contractor for the National Broadband Network in the weeks leading up to the incident, meticulously planned the assault after realising children frequented the secluded walking track between Reeves and Carrington Sts.
During sentencing, details of how Strike Force Garawan caught Johnson were revealed for the first time, including an apparent suicide attempt by Johnson to avoid incarceration.
The court heard how police first identified Johnson as a suspect after an 11-year-old girl confided in a teacher she had been inappropriately touched by him.
After he was questioned by police a mobile phone of Johnson’s was taken for examination and this proved to be his undoing with officers finding maps and images of Narara, including the walkway where the girl was abducted as well as text messages Johnson had written to colleagues to say he’d be late on the day of the incident.
Photos of the victim also uncovered on the phone led to a second round of questioning with detectives and during this time Johnson’s wife handed in a second phone of Johnson’s for examination.
Not long after Johnson’s brother also submitted a ghillie suit which Johnson had asked him to keep at his place.
The court was also told how police found further text messages Johnson wrote to a friend on the second mobile phone where he bragged about the assault, including sending links of media coverage about the event.
When questioned with crime scene photos taken from one of his own phones, Johnson was also able to identify a part of the photo believed to be naturally accumulated green waste which was actually a ghillie suit, something police argued no person who did not have intimate knowledge of the scene would have been able to do.
It was after this that Johnson, who is a type 1 diabetic, administered himself a lethal dose of insulin, after complaining to officers that he felt unwell and required his medication.
He was rushed to hospital but not before allegedly admitting to paramedics he was aware that he had injected a lethal dosage and had planned to die as a result.
The exact details of what the 12-year-old girl endured as well as her victim impact statement have both been suppressed for the privacy of the victim, but NSW District Court Judge David Wilson commended the victim for her courage during the trial and sentencing.
In handing down the sentence Judge Wilson said the heinous nature of the crime, Johnson’s planning of the attack and his cowardice after he was caught, all led to the harshness of his sentence.
Johnson will be ineligible for parole for at least 21 years and will remain incarcerated until at least 2038, given the time he has already served since his initial arrest.

Source:
Casefile and Transcript, Oct 1
R v Troy Johnson, 2017/00259680
Dilon Luke, Journalist

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