Michael Johnson denied allegations that he hired young teens to have sex with him.

AUBURN – A well-known former Little League and youth basketball coach pleaded innocent Thursday to a second round of charges involving young girls.

Michael Johnson, 38, was able to remain free on $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty to one count of promoting prostitution, one count of giving alcohol to a minor and four counts of giving marijuana to minors.

Johnson, who lives on Empire Road in Poland, was arrested March 8 for allegedly hunting for girls in Kennedy Park, giving them booze and drugs, then convincing them to dance nude and have sex with him for money.

His arrest came three months after he was indicted by a grand jury on seven counts of rape stemming from incidents in the 1980s.

Those charges are the result of allegations made by three women who claim that Johnson sexually abused them in the 1980s.

At the time, the women were under 14 years old. One of them claims she met Johnson at the YMCA in Auburn where he worked as a volunteer coach and was involved with a leadership group for young teens. The woman has said she introduced Johnson to the other girls.

The women, now in their late 20s and early 30s, have said they decided to finally come forward and pursue their allegations after hearing rumors that Johnson was still chasing young girls.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the first set of charges in December.

According to police, the rumors that his first victims had heard were true.

The latest charges against Johnson began as a routine police matter in February, investigators said. Lewiston police Officer Thomas Murphy spoke with a teenager after receiving a report of a young girl prostituting in Kennedy Park.

Murphy learned that the girl had been prostituting herself for an older man, according to a court affidavit. That man was later identified as Johnson.

Police said the girl from the park told the officer that she had met Johnson through a friend who was also providing sexual services for the former coach. Johnson had allegedly been prowling Kennedy Park looking for girls between 14 and 16 years old.

Johnson plied the girls with booze and drugs while convincing them to dance nude and eventually have sex with him for money at his house in Poland and at a Lisbon Street motel, police said.

The former coach also paid his victims to go out and recruit other teenage girls to do similar work for money, according to court records.

“Johnson, on numerous occasions, asked (one teen) to find him a young girl for his own personal use,'” Detective Scot Bradeen wrote in the affidavit attached to the arrest warrant. “(She) stated that Johnson had specifically asked her to find him young, skinny, pretty girls aged 14 to 16 years old to have sex with him. She also stated that Johnson offered her money and a percentage of what he would pay the other girls to have sex with him.”

Johnson was released on $5,000 bail shortly after being arrested in March. Justice Ellen Gorman allowed him to remain free on that bail Thursday after neither Johnson’s attorney nor the state prosecutor asked for something different.

According to a director at the YMCA, Johnson has not coached youth sports there in more than a decade. As part of bail conditions, he was ordered to stay away from his alleged victims and all other girls under the age of 18.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.