HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — A former Huntington University cross country coach was charged with identity deception and is serving time in jail.
Nicholas Johnson, 33, was originally charged with two counts of child seduction, as well as charges of kidnapping and identity deception. A probable cause affidavit obtained by WANE 15 shed more light on Johnson’s alleged crimes.
The affidavit indicates that the crimes took place in Huntington County from July to December 2, of 2020 and involved a person between the ages of 16 and 18 years old. Investigators believe Johnson set up a fake email account to carry out the crimes and at one point traveled with the victim across state lines to “pick up a puppy.” Johnson told investigators he performed physical “treatments” that involved inappropriate touching in his garage which the victim also confirmed took place. None of the crimes are alleged to have taken place at Huntington University.
According to the sentencing order, prosecutors dropped all other charges related to the incident after Johnson pleaded guilty to identity deception. He will serve 30 days of jail time, 550 days of probation, and 150 days on electronic monitoring. The court has also issued a no-contact order with the victim.
Since the announcement of the charges, Johnson has been fired from Huntington University. His biography was removed from the university’s website.
The University was informed on Thursday, December 10, that charges were filed in Huntington County against Johnson. Out of respect for the individuals involved and the law enforcement process, the University will not be making any public comment on this matter.
Director of Communication and University Relations Lynette Fager said Huntington University continues to remain committed to providing a safe, healthy, and respectful learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff as together they continue to uphold the calling to Christ, scholarship, and service.
According to a post on the Huntington University Foresters Facebook page, Johnson is a HU alum and Huntington native who was hired in 2018 to take over the university’s men’s and women’s cross country program. He was the third cross country coach in the school’s history.