According to a press release from the Otsego County Sherriff's Office, a Cooperstown man has been arrested in response to a complaint in the Town of Hartwick.

After an investigation, A. Ronald Johnson, 79 was arrested on February 21st, and has been charged with forcible touching. The arrest came after a report of sexual assault in the Town of Hartwick. The investigation ascertained that Johnson had forcibly touched the intimate areas of another individual while the defendant conducted work as a real estate agent during the showing of a home.

The website shows that Johnson is an associate broker with Hubbells Real Estate in Cooperstown.

Upon arrest, Johnson was lodged at the Otsego County Correctional Facility to await an arraignment.

This is not the first time that Johnson has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. Reporting from WWNY shows that three lawsuits were filed against him in 2020 and 2021 stemming from his time as a teacher and church choir director in Lowville, New York.

One of the suits filed with the State Supreme Court alleges that Johnson sexually abused a boy in the time period from 1979-1981. The boy was 13 years old when the alleged abuse began. The filing noted the sexual contact happening at the Lowville United Methodist Church and Lowville High School.

Defendants in this lawsuit are Johnson, Lowville United Methodist Church, and the Lowville Academy and Central School District.

In 2020, when WWNY spoke with Johnson about the allegations, he told the news outlet:  "I find that ridiculous," he said. "I'm in a state of shock."

Under the law, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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