Bulloch Co. Jury Acquits Man in 20 Minutes After Awaiting Trial in Jail

A Bulloch County jury acquitted a man Tuesday after just twenty minutes of deliberations.

Terry Wendell Johnson was arrested by the Statesboro Police Department in December 2021. The agency sought warrants on the misdemeanor offense of Sexual Battery after it was alleged that Johnson “intentionally [made] physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of [the accuser] without consent of said person”…when he “put his head and face in the genital area of [the accuser] while she was asleep and without her consent. Said contact is alleged to be through the clothing of [the accuser].”

After three and a half months in jail, on March 18, 2022, Johnson posted bond and was released on a $2,500 bond.

In April 2022, the case was accused in State Court, but almost a year after that, in February 2023, the case was indicted by District Attorney Daphne Totten as a felony with a more severe charge in Superior Court. Johnson was indicted on the felony charge of Aggravated Sodomy. This time, the allegations claimed that on the same date as before, Johnson did ‘perform a sexual act with [the accuser] involving the sex organs of the person and the accused,’ particularly oral sex. The indictment alleged that the accuser was unconscious at the time of the act.

So, in December 2021, the allegations were that Johnson put his face near the accuser, she was asleep, and she had clothes on. In February 2023, the allegations were that Johnson performed oral sex on an unconscious individual.

Misdemeanor Sexual Battery carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine while felony Aggravated Sodomy carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

Following the grand jury indictment, a bench warrant was issued for Johnson and he was returned to the Bulloch County jail where he remained until trial.

Following a day and a half trial before Judge Michale Muldrew, jurors deliberated for twenty minutes before returning a ‘not guilty’ verdict. 

ADA Ben Edwards prosecuted the case for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. Public defender Karen Brown represented Johnson.

Johnson was held in the jail from December 2, 2021 until March 18, 2022 (106 days) and then again after the bench warrant was issued until the end of his trial on February 13, 2024 (182 days) for a total of 288 days in jail. 

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

2 Comments

  1. This is the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever heard… 20 minutes to come to a not-guilty verdict of a man I know in fact did this and their was proof provided. Not to mention he has another charge against him for something similar to a girl under 10 years of age. The system is failing, it’s truly a shame.

  2. $2500 bond for alleged sexual battery..meanwhile mine was $4000 because I missed court for driving with a suspended license.

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