Rochester Hills man sentenced for attempt to have sex with minor in Novi

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published July 13, 2022

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NOVI — A Rochester Hills man was sentenced in Oakland County Circuit Court June 14 for attempting to have sex with a minor, following the actions of the Indianapolis-based nonprofit, Predator Catchers.

Wayne Kenneth Johnson, 52, pleaded no contest May 24 to one count of child accosting and one count of using a computer to commit a felony, for an alleged attempt to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex at a Novi hotel Jan. 9. Johnson allegedly thought he had been conversing online with a young girl, but he was actually conversing online with Predator Catchers Inc. While a plea of no contest is not an admission of guilt, it is treated the same as a guilty verdict for the purposes of sentencing.

Predator Catchers Inc. is a group of volunteers who state that they want to collaborate with law enforcement, prosecutors and other groups to protect communities and youth against online child predators, according to the organization’s website. The organization said that it arranged to meet Johnson in Novi and then contacted Novi police. Upon arrival, police were presented with sufficient evidence from the organization to warrant Johnson’s arrest. 

Johnson was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 167 days served and placed on the sex offender registry. Johnson was also ordered to have his fingerprints taken and given to the Michigan State Police, and to submit to an HIV test. He is also prohibited from using a firearm or any other deadly weapon. When he is released from jail, Johnson will be placed on five years of probation. He is prohibited from having any contact with children under the age of 17 and must allow field agents to enter his residence. He is also prohibited from entering places where sexual activity is taking place. 

According to court records, this is not Johnson’s first offense. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to a charge of child sexually abusive commercial activity in the Macomb County Circuit Court. For that crime, he was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation.

A request for comment from the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office was not returned. Johnson’s attorney, Richard T. Taylor, also did not return a request for comment.