New details emerge in arrest of former Huntington University coach for child seduction and kidnapping


HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — A former Huntington University cross country coach has been arrested on four felony charges including child seduction and kidnapping.

Nicholas Johnson, 33, is charged with two counts of child seduction, as well as charges of kidnapping and identity deception. A criminal case was filed against him on Thursday. An arrest warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest the next day, and he was jailed.

Johnson has been released on custody after posting a $30,000 bond.

A probable cause affidavit obtained Tuesday by WANE 15 sheds 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.

Since the announcement of the charges, Johnson has been fired from Huntington University. His biography was removed from the university’s website.

Nick Johnson is no longer employed at Huntington University. The University was informed on Thursday, December 10, that charges were filed in Huntington County against Mr. 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. 

Huntington University continues to remain committed to providing a safe, healthy, and respectful learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff as together we continue to uphold our calling to Christ, scholarship, and service.

Lynette Fager, Director of Communication University Relations Huntington University

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.

Johnson will be back in court for a pretrial conference Feb. 8, 2021.

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