A convicted rapist whose sentence broke new ground by including extra time for passing on a sexually transmitted disease is representing himself this week for allegedly robbing a South San Francisco office worker.
Tony Alfonso Johnson, 52, was linked to the Dec. 6, 2007 robbery by DNA on an bandanna left at the scene that he allegedly used to hide his face and wipe away fingerprints from the furniture. He is only beginning trial now in that case in large part because he was tried and convicted first in Solano County for a gun possession case before being transferred back to San Mateo County.
Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, robbery and assault with a firearm. He is serving as his own attorney against the charges which could send him to prison for life as a three-striker on top of the 27-years-to-life term he received in Solano County.
Prosecutors say Johnson was seeking computer laptops when he accosted a worker at gunpoint in the South San Francisco office but fled with the 59-year-old victim’s credit cards instead.
Johnson allegedly wore a bandanna across his face during the robbery but removed it frequently to wipe away fingerprints from the furniture which allowed the victim to see his face clearly.
The suspect left the bandanna at the scene and investigators were able to create a DNA profile from his sweat. The profile and the victim’s eyewitness identification linked Johnson to the crime after he was arrested in Solano County. Johnson also reportedly used the woman’s credit cards within hours of the robbery.
In 1985, a jury convicted Johnson of raping a woman in Pacifica in June 1984. Johnson was also convicted of oral copulation, robbery and kidnapping. The counts brought him 30 years in prison in a time when sexual crime convictions didn’t require 85 percent of time to be served prior to parole eligibility.
While in prison, Johnson also added two more years for being a prisoner possessing a deadly weapon.
In the middle of 2007, Johnson was paroled back to San Mateo County.
Johnson’s rape conviction made headlines at the time not only for the 30-year sentence imposed but also to debate whether he caused great bodily injury to his victim by infecting her with the herpes virus. A great bodily injury allegation adds an extra three years prison time.
Johnson’s defense fought the finding but an appellate court ultimately held that a sexually transmitted disease does qualify as a great bodily injury.
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