Schenectady County

Alleged serial rapist commits suicide

A former Pennsylvania police officer wanted in a series of rapes killed himself inside a Cohoes apar
PHOTOGRAPHER:

A former Pennsylvania police officer wanted in a series of rapes killed himself this morning inside a Cohoes apartment as police closed in on him, authorities said.

Michael L. Johnson, Jr., of York, Pa., had been on the run from accusations he posed as an officer to rape prostitutes. He faced charges in both York and Baltimore, Md.

Johnson had been free on $100,000 bail, but disappeared. U.S. Marshals tracked him to the Capital Region as part of a four-day manhunt. They finally tracked him to 2 Mohawk St., Building B, Apt. 7 in Cohoes. Johnson had rented the room under an alias.

As marshals, with the help of Cohoes police attempted to arrest him, an individual believed to be Johnson fled to his room and shot himself with a handgun, police said.

Johnson’s case had been featured on the America’s Most Wanted Web site. He was accused of posing as an officer to “arrest” known prostitutes to sexually assault them.

In one case, according to America’s Most Wanted, Johnson posed as an officer, picking up a 21-year-old woman in Baltimore and telling her he was arresting her as part of a sting operation on prostitution in the area.

He then handcuffed the woman to the back seat of his van and told her he’d let her go if she had sex with him, according to the Web site. The break came when the woman memorized the van’s license plate number.

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