PROVO — Victims of sex crimes are celebrating a law Governor Herbert recently signed. The law closes a loophole for pedophiles who are considered incompetent to stand trial.
House Bill 14 was inspired by the Lonnie Johnson case. Johnson is accused of sexually assaulting two relatives but is incompetent to stand trial. Last year, doctors ruled he was not a physical danger to society so the judge had to release him.
But now that the new law has passed, that may be a thing of the past.
Nicknamed “Lonnie’s Law,” it was a tool attorneys used to defend accused perpetrators of sex crimes. Instead of going to prison, because of doctors would determine some as incompetent, they would be committed to a state hospital.
The mother of one of the alleged victims in the Lonnie Johnson case learned for the first time Wednesday that this law passed.