Father raises questions about soldier arrested for sex abuse, de - WSMV Channel 4

Father raises questions about soldier arrested for sex abuse, desertion

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The U.S. Army dubbed him its third-most wanted fugitive. Investigators accused him of being a sexual predator. But one woman knew James Johnson as someone else: a 25-year-old bull rider named Jase Owen.

That's why the news of Johnson's recent arrest shocked Jordan Breeden and her family.

"When she finally found out, it made her physically ill," said Jordan Breeden's father, Michael Breeden. The family lives in Trenton, GA, but Michael Breeden said his daughter met the man on Facebook several months ago.

Jordan, 21, had met someone she thought was Owen twice. They had met in person once in Chattanooga. Jordan even drove to Manchester to meet the man as recently as last weekend.

Breeden claims the man had recently contacted his daughter to say police had mistaken him for someone else – and he had been arrested. The father unearthed a different story when he started researching news articles.

"We thought he was 25 years old," Breeden said. "He said all the right things."

On Wednesday, U.S. Marshals, TBI agents, and Williamson County deputies arrested James Johnson in Brentwood – a man who looked identical to Owen.

Johnson, 31, was wanted by the Christian County Sheriff's Office in Hopkinsville, KY, for failure to appear on 120 counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 12.

Johnson has also been charged by the U.S. Army with military desertion after leaving his unit at Fort Campbell, KY.

Johnson was arrested on the sex abuse of a minor charges on June 20, 2012. He was released on bond the same day.

A warrant was issued on Sept. 16, 2013, for failure to appear in Christian County.

Fort Campbell officials reported him as a military deserter on Nov. 6, 2013.

Jordan Breeden spoke to an acquaintance of Johnson over the phone, who told her the man she had visited was actually named James Johnson, not Jase Owen, according to Michael Breeden. The last post on Jase Owen's Facebook page reads: "Heading to jail, talk to y'all soon."

Johnson was extradited to Kentucky, where he is being held at the Christian County Jail. No inmates are listed under the name "Jase Owen."

Attempts to reach Johnson were unsuccessful Sunday evening. It's unclear if Johnson had created an alias or someone else had been posing as Johnson.

Regardless of the situation, Michael Breeden said he hopes his daughter's story highlights the dangers of meeting people online.

"Too many girls these days are too trusting," he said.

With social media on the rise, local police officers say they've had to confront new challenges in the cyber world. For example, a unit within the Metro Nashville Police Department specifically targets Internet crimes against children.

"You never want to agree to meet someone you don't know," Lt. Jason Sharpe said. "You never know who that person is."

Sharpe said in recent years numerous parents have contacted police, worried about their children's online activity.

"You never know who's on the other side of that computer, that account," Sharpe said.

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