Travonne Lamont Johnson

La Plata, MD – After four days of graphic testimony in a Charles County Circuit Court jury trial, Travonne Lamont Johnson, 17 of Waldorf, was found not guilty of second-degree rape, Thursday, May 26.

He was found guilty of second-degree assault.

The trial began Monday, May 23 and had a little bit of everything: a dismissed juror who appeared at times to be sleeping, later determined to be ill; a hiccup in the trial when the mother, a subpoenaed witness in the case, was alleged to be receiving information about the trial from her sons in the courtroom; and the future of a teenager who may have regretted ever having sex with the 19-year-old victim, hanging in the balance.

Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah K. Freeman told the jury in her closing arguments that having sex without the other person’s consent is rape.

She said the victim had made it clear in text messages and conversations to the defendant that she did not want a physical relationship with him.

“He kept badgering her to come over to his house, telling her, ‘I have weed, come help me roll,’” Freeman said. “They were friends. They were not in an intimate relationship. She probably should have stuck to her first instinct and not have gone over there. That does not mean she deserves to be raped.”

Freeman said that just because there was no vaginal trauma to the victim did not mean she wasn’t raped.

Charles County Assistant Public Defender Edie Cimino told the jury her client did not rape anyone.

“This is a 17-year-old boy listening to these lies being told about him,” she said in closing arguments. “He is a minor. He did not rape her. She wanted to do that.”

Cimino said the fact that the victim owed the defendant money for marijuana led to the encounter.

“He hinted to her that there were other ways to pay,” Cimino stated. “She knew exactly what he was talking about.”

Johnson was ordered held by Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier. He also has a pending burglary case and will face trial on those charges in August.

The maximum penalty for second-degree assault is 10 years.

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