A Chippewa Falls woman was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for taking a sexually provocative photo of a girl under 16, sending the photo to a man and communicating about sexual activity involving the girl in 2017, as well as possessing methamphetamine.
Nancy M. Johnson, 50, of 890 Pumphouse Rd., must also serve three years of extended supervision.
Johnson pleaded no contest to causing mental harm to a child and methamphetamine possession in separate 2017 cases, and on Wednesday, pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine in a 2018 case.
In October 2017, after a search warrant was served, investigators found a video on Johnson’s phone showing what appeared to be a girl aged 4-6 engaging in intercourse with a boy aged 8-10, according to a criminal complaint.
A text message on the phone showed Johnson communicating with a man about her and a 12-year-old girl engaging in sexual activity with the man, according to the complaint.
In September 2017, Johnson had had a sexually suggestive text conversation with a man, using the phrase “nothing is off limits,” according to the complaint.
On June 2, 2018, a Lake Hallie police officer saw a glass pipe inside Johnson’s wallet, and found cocaine in Johnson’s purse and suspected crystal methamphetamine in her vehicle, according to the complaint.
Johnson’s attorney, Glenn White, argued for probation instead of prison time.
The community can’t deal with the “avalanche of methamphetamine problems we’re experiencing” by “locking up every drug user,” White said Wednesday. “That’s obviously not the case.”
Johnson turned herself in to authorities twice – once after failing to show up for her July sentencing date, again after she was released from the Chippewa County Jail due to a clerical error, White said.
Johnson also has only one prior conviction, a misdemeanor retail theft, White said, has suffered mental health problems and was the victim of past “serious domestic abuse.”
However, when sentencing Johnson, Judge James M. Isaacson agreed with the recommendation of Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell.
Newell asked for prison time because of the “devastating impact” on the young female victim, he said in court.
Johnson was “essentially using” the girl “in communication with men she was interested in engaging in sexual activity with,” Newell said.
Johnson has been through programs to deal with substance abuse, but was unsuccessful, Isaacson said.
“In the end, I’ve got to look at protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense … and the photographs of (the victim) are out there … that’s going to be a problem for her for a long time,” Isaacson said. “… I think probation depreciates how serious these matters are.”
Johnson said she is “very aware” she should stay sober.
“I know I can’t get there unless I’m sober, and I need help,” she said. “… I’m very sorry for what I’ve done.”
Johnson was originally charged in 2017 with soliciting a child for prostitution and possession of child pornography.
Charges of cocaine possession, drug paraphernalia possession and three counts of felony bail jumping were dismissed Wednesday and read in.
Johnson will receive 49 days of credit for time already served. She must also pay $1,554 in court costs.
During her extended supervision, Johnson must have no contact with the girl without written permission, have no Internet access without her agent’s approval, not possess alcohol or illegal drugs, not visit bars or taverns and not associate with people conducting illegal drug activity.