A man who drove a runaway King George County teenager to southern Stafford County and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint last year was convicted of rape Thursday.

Grant Michael Johnson, 22, of King George entered an Alford plea to the rape charge in Stafford Circuit Court. The plea means that Johnson does not admit guilt, but it carries the same effect as a guilty plea.

In exchange for Johnson's plea, prosecutor Ed Lustig dropped an abduction charge and agreed that Johnson will receive a maximum active prison sentence of 25 years when he is sentenced May 28.

Lustig said he made the deal in part because the victim was reluctant to testify, though she would have if necessary.

According to the evidence, the 16-year-old girl was at a home in King George on Aug. 18 when she got into an argument with her grandmother and left the house. The Sheriff's Office was called and the girl was listed as a runaway.

She wasn't far from home, according to the evidence, when Johnson showed up and offered her a ride. The girl had met Johnson on Facebook and the two were acquaintances, but they hadn't had previous sexual relations, Lustig said.

They rode around and Johnson eventually parked at the Ferry Farms McDonald's. He then asked the girl to take a walk with him along the nearby railroad tracks.

The girl told police that Johnson took her 20 to 30 yards into the woods before pulling a hunting knife and cutting off her shirt and bra before raping her. After the rape, he threatened the girl not to tell anyone and left her in the woods.

Johnson had thrown items from the girl's purse during the attack. The girl, who was not familiar with the area, eventually found her phone and called her mother.

Stafford Sgt. Dimas Pinzon and King George Deputy Keith Dobson were on the scene as the girl returned down the railroad tracks. She was taken to Mary Washington Hospital for testing.

Stafford Detective Ed McCullough later found Johnson and his red Ford Ranger in the parking lot of the nearby Walmart and took him into custody. Johnson at first claimed he hadn't seen the girl at all, then later said they had consensual sex.

The knife was never found, but the girl had a deep cut on her forearm and her cut-up clothes were recovered.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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