Emporium, Cameron County, Pa.
An Emporium police officer finds himself on the other side of the law.
Francis Johnson, 51, is charged with three felonies.
He’s charged with criminal use of a communication facility, permitting filming of sex acts, and unlawful contact with a minor.
Police say the Johnson was placed on leave in August after “sexting” messages were discovered with a teenage girl. The messages included nude photos of the girl.
One of the messages to the girl said: “You have to stay healthy and fine till our dates at 16.”
According to the complaint, they used text messages, Facebook, and Snap Chat. He also visited her in his police car.
“When I first met Frank?…Well, we first met him when he was outside,” says a relative. “He always parks outside where the front of the door is, the other door. He always comes out and sits on the front porch or something or in the cop car.”
Local residents aren’t happy.
“I mean he should be put in jail. That’s sad that really is sad that we’ve got people like that around this area,” says resident Larry Shepard.
“They represent what we’re supposed to look up to so I think he should be held just as accountable as anyone else,” says Cindy Fisch.
When he was confronted by the chief, he allegedly told him that he thought it was legal to have sex with a 16-year-old, and he was going to wait until the girl turned 16.
Emporium residents are in disbelief.
“He is an officer of the law and he should definitely be held to a higher standard,” says resident Thomas Reeves.
“I think it’s wrong no mater who does it, no matter who the person is. I think it’s absolutely wrong, there’s no excuses for it,” says Stephanie May.
“She didn’t tell anyone. …You get the whole point that you would have to chase after someone that was crying to see what was wrong with them,” says a victim’s relative.
Johnson has been a police officer for 25 years.
“She’s way too young to be interested in that stuff, way too young,” says the victim’s relative. “If he does go to jail, then he’s getting what he rightfully deserves.”