GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — New details tied to Winston-Salem have emerged as new sex crime charges were filed against a former Page High School teacher and assistant basketball coach.
Records show that this latest set of charges stems from offenses that took place in September 2022.
Mark Johnson Jr., 34, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape and two other counts of indecent liberties on Feb. 24. Since then, 11 new charges have been added. Most of his charges occurred while working at Page High School in Greensboro. However, five of his latest charges occurred while he worked at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem.
His full list of charges include the following:
- two counts of first-degree statutory rape
- five counts of taking indecent liberties with children
- two counts of taking indecent liberties with children by a school official
- four counts of statutory rape/sex offense with a 13, 14, or 15-year-old by a person 6 years older
- one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor
- one count of solicitation of a child by computer
The rape charges both come with a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. The rest of the charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 18 years in prison.
Johnson’s bond is listed at $3 million.
In court on Monday, May 22, prosecutors alleged that Johnson had a photo of a child under the age of 16 without clothes on. The victim was identified as a student of the charter school Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem where Johnson previously worked.
Investigators allegedly found a number of conversations between Johnson and the student. The conversations included talk of sexual encounters and the victim taking the emergency contraceptive Plan B. The texts also imply that the victim may have visited Johnson’s home and that sexual encounters may have taken place in an “office” where Johnson cut hair.
According to court records, the parents of a girl realized Johnson had sent a text to their daughter asking for her to meet him outside their home at 1:13 a.m. The parents were home and say their daughter left the house, saying she had to get basketball gear out of her car.
Shortly after, Greensboro Police Department detectives began investigating, and Johnson was put on leave from Page High School.
Johnson sent text messages to students telling them to delete everything, according to the judge. However, a girl saved texts he had sent her.
Officers say they saw illicit photos and videos from another student on Johnson’s phone, as well, and a second student also reportedly engaged in sexual activity with Johnson, claiming that Johnson told her, “This is not my first time.”
Johnson began working at Page High School on Aug. 16, 2022, according to a public information request filed with the school district. He resigned from his position at Page on Feb. 22, 2023.
Before coming to Page, Johnson worked as a substitute teacher at Andrews High School, Eastern Guilford High School, Smith High School, Mendenhall Middle School and Sternberger Elementary School from March 2017 to April 2018.
From August 2018 to July 2019, he worked as a CTE teacher at Allen Jay Preparatory Academy. He resigned from that position.
According to Thompson, detectives located a 2019 report in which “there were allegations of some sexually inappropriate conduct with Mr. Johnson. However, Mr. Johnson resigned from the school system and the allegations went nowhere and then was hired back into the Guilford County school system.”
The 2019 allegations did not lead to charges, but Thompson says detectives are going back to investigate that report.
Guilford County Schools re-hired Johnson in August 2022, and he began to work at Page High School. He also worked as the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach from the fall of 2022 to the winter of 2023.
Response from Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools has released multiple statements since the news broke.
The first, included in full below, was released on Feb. 25:
“Student safety is very important to us, and this kind of behavior will simply not be tolerated at Page High School or in Guilford County Schools. GCS and Page High School have cooperated fully with law enforcement on the investigation throughout this process. We will continue to provide support to the Page campus.”
The second, included in full below, was released on Feb. 28.
“Guilford County Schools conducts criminal background and reference checks for all newly hired employees. Additionally, the district requires that any suspicion of sexual misconduct is reported to law enforcement.
“Following a background check, Mark Johnson, Jr. had no charge or conviction related to sexual misconduct prior to February 24, 2023.”
The third, included in full below, was released on March 3.
In February 2023, Guilford County Schools became aware of allegations of sexual misconduct involving Mark Johnson Jr. Since becoming aware of those allegations, GCS has fully cooperated with law enforcement and alerted the incident to NCDPI as required by the law. The following public information is being released in response to numerous media requests.
Original Date of Employment: March 20, 2017
Date of Resignation: February 22, 2023
Guilford County Schools followed standard procedures in hiring and vetting Mr. Johnson. Mark Johnson, Jr. had no charge or conviction related to sexual misconduct prior to February 24, 2023.