Serial rapist sentenced to 90 years to life for Littleton attack

A serial rapist was sentenced Friday to 90 years to life in prison for an attack on a woman on a Littleton trail.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear sentenced Johnny Dewayne Harris Jr, 49, to an indeterminate sentence of 90 years to life in the Colorado Department of Corrections for sexually assaulting the 28-year-old woman who was walking her dog on July 25, 2018. This sentence will begin after he serves his sentence for a sex assault in Denver.

“This defendant is why we need strong laws regarding rapists,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Monsters like him will continue to terrorize innocent victims whenever they get the chance. This offender will no longer be a threat to our community.

“I am in awe at the strength of the survivor in this case, who fought him off, spoke out about the attack and took the stand to help convict him.”

The survivor and several supporters spoke at sentencing. She thanked her family, friends and strangers who have rallied to her, calling them “her tribe.”

She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.

“What he did to me is not something you move on from or just get over,” she said. “But I’m smart and strong – a warrior woman. “

The jury reached its verdict Sept. 18, 2019. Harris was found guilty of:

  • one count of first-degree kidnapping
  • one count of attempted sexual assault
  • one count of first-degree assault
  • one count of unlawful sexual contact

When he attacked the woman in Littleton, Harris had also committed two sexual assaults in Denver in March 2018. He was sentenced in July 2019 to 25 years in prison for the Denver assaults.

One of his Denver victims spoke at his sentencing on Friday.

“He deserves the longest sentence possible – the public is not safe when he is outside prison,” she told the judge.

“This is the thing that all good people fear – this is the stuff of nightmares,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo told the judge Friday in asking for the maximum sentence. “Keeping this defendant in prison is the way the nightmare ends and the court can guarantee the safety of this community.”

Harris had been convicted in 1999 in Texas after he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl. He was released from prison in 2014 but failed to register as a sex offender.

He pleaded guilty to failure to register in Colorado in December 2016 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo prosecuted the case with Gallo.

“Nothing can make right what this defendant has done, but I hope this sentence brings a measure of security to the survivors knowing he will not be able to hurt them or anyone else ever again,” she said. “This painful chapter in their recovery is now closed.”

 

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