Former cop accused of rape, kidnapping

December 2, 2008 7:12:21 PM PST
A township commissioner who was once a police officer in central Pennsylvania was arrested after a standoff Monday and was accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Baltimore last month.

Michael Lawrence Johnson Jr., 40, claimed to be a police officer on Nov. 2 when he approached a 21-year-old woman who was walking down an East Baltimore street and ordered her into his minivan, police said.

Johnson, president of the Penn Township Board of Commissioners near Hanover, allegedly told the woman he was arresting her for prostitution and handcuffed her to the vehicle's back seat.

He then raped the woman before he pushed her out of the van behind a bar, police said. The woman was able to provide a partial license plate number and military sticker that police said they used to link Johnson to the crime.

Baltimore Police said Johnson was taken into custody Monday after a two-hour standoff at his home outside Hanover. They did not know whether Johnson has obtained an attorney.

Johnson was being held in York County Prison on a fugitive warrant pending a hearing on his extradition to Baltimore. The charges there include rape, kidnapping, sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Johnson was a York police officer from 1995 to 1999, when he resigned due to an injury, said York police Capt. Ron Camacho.

Johnson ran for Congress in 2002 and finished last in a four-way Republican primary that included the incumbent, Todd Platts. He also was an unsuccessful candidate for York County commissioner.

As township commissioner, Johnson's duties include overseeing the local police department.

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