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Ludowici man charged with public drunkenness, sexual battery
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A Ludowici man faces multiple charges including public drunkenness and sexual battery. According to information provided by Ludowici Police Department Officer Frank Cloninger, at around 6 p.m. July 6, a woman came into the police department and reported that Stephen Elisha Johnson, 31, stole her cell phone and beat her at her Residence Street home.
Cloninger said the woman then pointed to a man walking on Union Street and said he was the person who committed the acts against her. The officer told the woman to stay at the police department and he approached the man, who later was identified as Johnson. Cloninger reported Johnson smelled strongly of alcohol.
As he was questioning Johnson, Cloninger said he became loud and started making aggressive hand gestures. The officer said he produced his Taser and informed Johnson that if he continued to act in an aggressive manner, Cloninger would be forced to use the Taser on him.
Cloninger searched Johnson and found two cell phones — one identified as the phone the victim was missing. Johnson told Cloninger he only took the woman’s cell phone because she owed him money.
According to the Cloninger, Johnson agreed to take an Alco-sensor reading, which revealed Johnson had a blood-alcohol level of .163.
Cloninger reported the victim and Johnson had been seeing each other during the past year, and this was not the first time he had been charged with a violent act toward the woman.
The victim was photographed at the police department and was found to have swelling on her face, several bumps on her head, and bruises on her right breast. She also was checked by the Long County EMS while at the police station.
Johnson was taken into custody and arrested. He was charged with battery under the Family Violence Act, public drunkenness, cruelty to a child in the third degree and sexual battery.
Cloninger said Johnson is in custody at the Ludowici/Long County Jail pending warrant and bond procedures.

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