South Bay Man Who Fled to Dominican Republic Sentenced to Life for Child Molestation

An accused pedophile who fled to the Dominican Republic in 2019 while on trial for child molestation was sentenced on Monday to life in prison.

Apollo Johnsen, 57, had been sentenced in absentia for repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl after he used a three-month continuance for a medical procedure to flee and go into hiding, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said.

He was reported to authorities by a woman in the Dominican Republic who looked him up on Google and U.S. Marshals returned him to the United States earlier this year.

“Starting in 2005, Johnsen began sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl,” the DA’s Office said in a news release earlier this week. “His assaults culminated when he raped her when she was 16 in her East Bay home.”

According to the office, the victim did not disclose the abuse until May 2016, when she was hospitalized for a panic attack.

Johnson was arrested a month later at his home in Santa Clara, but released on $1 million bail in November 2016, the office said.

In June of 2019 he was granted a three-month continuance for a medical procedure, but he instead planned his escape.

He was not present when he was convicted on Sept. 26, 2019, of 16 counts of child molestation and the DA announced that Johnsen remained a fugitive. That announcement was discovered by the woman in the Dominican Republic, who notified authorities, leading to his arrest in Boca Chica.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Linda Clark sentenced him to the maximum of 240 years-to-life plus 44 years and eight months.

“There is no safe haven for people who harm children in our community,” DA Jeff Rosen said. “From a suspicious mother in the Caribbean to law enforcement to our prosecutor, we worked together to bring this fugitive to justice.”

7 Comments

  1. “There is no safe haven for people who harm children in our community,” — DA Jeff Rosen

    If Mr. Rosen’s claim is narrowly applied to harm done to “children in our community,” only then can his sentiment can be presumed genuine. Otherwise, to claim there is no safe haven here for “people who harm children” is absolutely false. By offering sanctuary to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, foreigners about whom nothing is known, this county has become a safe haven for criminals of every stripe, including child molesters. Had Apollo Johnsen molested a child in a foreign land and fled here, hiding from justice via the county’s sanctuary policy, this county would be his safe haven indeed.

    Nothing about sanctuary serves the best interests of this community, despite the fact that the majority has been duped into believing it does.

  2. Another wise insight, Mr. Elli.

    > By offering sanctuary to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, foreigners about whom nothing is known, this county has become a safe haven for criminals of every stripe, including child molesters.

    A while back, there was a flood of “unaccompanied minors” flooding over our southern border into the U.S.

    Very little was reported on what happened to these children, but anything awful was presumed to be Donald Trump’s malignant intention.

    My intuition told me that they were being funneled into the “foster care” system, and the extreme “welcoming” rhetoric emanating from the social do-gooder community hinted that many were ending up with local “placement” in Santa Clara County.

    Call me paranoid, but this appears to me to be a situation made to order for people with unscrupulous, unsavory, and exploitive instincts. Taking in and “caring for” an “unaccompanied youth” of dubious immigration status who would rather NOT be reported to the government? No accountability. No oversight. No “child protective services”?

    What could go wrong?

    Says DA Rosen:

    ““There is no safe haven for people who harm children in our community,”

    DA Rosen NEEDS to PROVE the veracity of that statement.

    What became of the “unaccompanied minors”, Mr. Rosen?

  3. So the first guy Kyle Rittenhouse shoots, Rosenbaum molested 5 boys ranging from forced oral copulation to sodomy, and only gets a few years.

    I’m not saying I disagree with the life sentence in this story at all, but I think anyone proven beyond any doubt of this type of crime should serve life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *