Zanesville man brought to justice for sexually abusing minors.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Zanesville man brought to justice for sexually abusing minors

Forrest Lee Johnson, 51, of Zanesville pled guilty to rape and gross sexual imposition in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court, admitting his guilt in court on January 18.

Johnson pled guilty to two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition, agreeing to a sentence totaling 25 years in prison for his crimes against minors.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Anderson says the plea agreement is a victory for the victims, and the community.

“Our mission is obtaining justice for the victims and keeping our community safe. This outcome accomplishes both of those goals. This case started because one victim felt comfortable talking to the local School Resource Officer, who then took action and referred this case for investigation. Successful prosecution of sexual abuse cases begins with the bravery of victims to come forward and share what they have suffered, followed by thorough investigations by law enforcement.”

If not for the victim’s courage to report this crime to the school resource officer, Johnson would still be free to continue sexually abusing children.

“I hope that this plea will bring some peace to the victims and hope to their lives. I would like to thank them for their courage in helping to bring this abuser to justice. Their actions and the thorough investigation by Detective Brian Swingle have made our community safer for everyone.”

The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office is appreciative of the Zanesville Police Department for an immediate and thorough response to the victim’s report.

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Zanesville man brought to justice for sexually abusing minors