NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There is new information about a St. Bernard Parish man accused of raping a young boy. The suspect, James Johnson, was working as a teacher's aide at St. Bernard Middle School and parents have not yet been notified about his arrest.
The St. Bernard Parish public school system said Johnson is on administrative leave pending an investigation. The assistant superintendent, Beverly Lawrason, said Johnson, of Violet, has worked for them for four years. Johnson was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated rape. The. St. Bernard Sheriff said the boy told a family member that Johnson forced him to commit a sex act.
Lawrason said parents have not been notified because the alleged rape happened during spring break and because the victim was not a St. Bernard Middle School student.
The school system added that they are waiting to see what additional action the district attorney and sheriff's office will take. FOX 8 was told that Johnson cleared a background check to work as a teacher's aide. Both the school system and the sheriff's office told FOX 8 News that no one else has come forward with concerns or allegations against Johnson. Johnson's neighbors on River Queen Drive - who also did not want to talk on camera - said they were shocked by the arrest.
Lawrason said before working for the school system, Johnson worked for the Recovery School District in New Orleans. The RSD released the following statement: "
James Johnson was employed by RSD in 2007-08 and 2008-09. At the time of his employment, a background check was conducted."