Judge finds Fox River Grove man guilty of sexual assault

Korem Johanson was acquitted of several additional counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

A McHenry County judge on Friday found a Fox River Grove man guilty of sexually assaulting a child but determined the man was not guilty of four additional counts, which alleged similar acts.

Korem M. Johanson was acquitted Friday of multiple counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge did, however, find the 39-year-old guilty of one felony count of predatory criminal sexual assault.

“There is no conclusion other than this activity was for sexual gratification and arousal,” Coppedge said.

Predatory criminal sexual assault is a class X felony typically punishable by as many as 30 years in prison.

Johanson was arrested in July 2019 in connection with allegations that he had inappropriate contact between July 1, 2019, and July 22, 2019, with two children he knew.

At the time of Johanson’s arrest, officers also found a Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun in Johanson’s possession, according to the indictment.

Johanson previously entered a blind guilty plea to that count and has yet to be sentenced.

During a trial-by-judge that began on Monday, Johanson’s attorney Philip Prossnitz argued that although Johnson’s behavior might have seemed provocative to some, it didn’t meet the standards required for a conviction of predatory criminal sexual assault – in part, because Johanson didn’t commit the acts for sexual gratification, his attorney said.

Another former McHenry County Jail detainee testified on Monday that Johanson made “weird” statements during a game of chess about prior physical contact he’d had with the children named as victims in the case.

Although the judge said he believed the alleged contact did occur, there wasn’t enough evidence that it happened knowingly and willingly on Johanson’s part, Coppedge said in court Friday.

Regardless, Johanson shouldn’t have created the situation that the allegations stemmed from to begin with, the judge said.

“Clearly and without question, this should not have happened,” Coppedge said.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 5.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie has reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald since 2017. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.