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Man charged in alleged sexual assault

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A Roswell man was arrested Tuesday on charges related to the alleged sexual assault of an underaged girl.

Electronic court records state Steven Paul Johnson, 43, of Roswell was arrested on charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, second degree; criminal sexual contact with a minor, second degree; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Johnson was arrested Tuesday on charges stemming from allegations that surfaced in March that he had sexually assaulted a now-former employee who was younger than 18 years old. According to court documents, the girl’s mother contacted police after learning about the accusations. Johnson denied the allegations when police first contacted him about them on March 29.

The girl told police, according to court documents, that Johnson touched her inappropriately and sexually assaulted her twice on Feb. 2. The first incident, she said, happened when she and Johnson were behind the business where they worked, reportedly smoking marijuana. When they went back inside, court documents state, Johnson gave her a handful of mushrooms. Later that day, he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her again, this time while they were inside the business.

Johnson was released on his own recognizance by Judge E.J. Fouratt Wednesday following an initial appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court. According to court documents, as part of his conditions of release, Johnson must avoid contact with his accuser or anyone who might be called to testify in the case and must not leave Chaves County without permission of the court.

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Electronic court records show that a preliminary examination to determine whether the case advances to District Court is scheduled for July 13.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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