CHARLOTTE — A 24-year-old registered sex offender is in custody after allegedly sexually assaulting a woman Tuesday afternoon at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, police said.
According to court records, the woman was a social worker and the suspect, Devonte Johnson, was her client. The sheriff’s office said Johnson knocked on the door of the Area of Mental Health office on the eighth floor of the courthouse at about 12:15 p.m.
Court records said the woman last met with Johnson in April 2022, but he showed up without a scheduled appointment Tuesday. The woman took Johnson to the waiting room but a shortly after, he went into her office with no pants on, according to records.
That was when Johnson hit the victim in the head and tried to rape and sexually assault her, according to court records. He then threatened her with scissors from her desk if she did not stop screaming, and then took her cell phone, cut the phone line and disconnected her computer, the records said.
Before leaving the room and running away from the courthouse, the court records said he also stole the victim’s credit cards from her wallet.
The woman had bruising and swelling on her face and was taken to a local hospital for her injuries.
The sheriff’s office said that after the assault, deputies secured the courthouse and started searching for Johnson.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police found him Tuesday night and arrested him. He admitted to officers that he tried to rape the victim and said it was because he was “off his medication and hearing voices,” according to court records.
Johnson was charged with attempted second-degree rape, attempted second-degree sex offense, kidnapping, sexual battery, assault on a female, common law robbery, interfering with emergency communication, communicating threats, damage to property, and indecent exposure.
“It is very unfortunate that this happened,” Sheriff Garry McFadden said. “I am always grateful for the professionalism and response of our deputies. Now our focus is on apprehending this suspect to prevent this from occurring again.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Channel 9 has previously reported that deputies were moved from the courthouse detail to cover an understaffed jail. We have asked the sheriff’s office and county officials if shifting resources left parts of the courthouse less secure and what security measures will be taken going forward to protect the hundreds of employees who work there.
County leaders said they had no comment at this time and directed us to the sheriff’s office, who has not responded at this point.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Charlotte Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.
(Watch the video below: Police: Suspect shot man during argument outside Caldwell County Courthouse)
©2022 Cox Media Group