AP NEWS

North Augusta man pleads not guilty to federal charge connected to teen abduction

July 15, 2017

The North Augusta man found in Tennessee with a 15-year-old Evans, Georgia, girl at the end of 2016 pleaded not guilty to a federal charge Friday.

Jason Arlis Johnson, 38, was federally indicted on July 5 with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to court documents.

Johnson appeared before a judge in federal court Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge, records show.

He also faces charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Columbia County, Georgia, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

An Amber Alert was issued in South Carolina for the juvenile on Dec. 9, 2016; and police found her with Johnson at a candy store in Sevierville, Tennessee, on Dec. 10, according to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.

Police believe Johnson abducted the juvenile from her home on Dec. 3, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson also reportedly molested the teen multiple times between June and December 2016.

Johnson will continue to be held at the Columbia County jail without bond.