GONZALES — A Gonzales district fire chief pleaded not guilty Monday to 11 counts of child pornography.
Prosecutors in Ascension Parish charged Kristopher Johnson, 35, by bill of information April 7 after his arrest in March, and he entered the initial plea at his arraignment Monday at the Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales.
Johnson, 422 S. Olena Ave., Gonzales, has been given bail of $1.1 million and remained in Parish Prison near Donaldsonville on Monday, the Sheriff’s Office website shows.
No trial date has been set, but his next hearing date is set for June 20, when his defense attorney is expected to argue for lowering Johnson’s bail to $10,000.
Attorney Pegram Mire Jr. argued in court papers that Johnson has no substantial prior criminal history and will remain employed and at his current residence, while the charges against him are unsubstantiated.
Johnson, who has been with the city Fire Department since 2001, is a shift commander and was placed at the time of his arrest on administrative leave with pay, pending an investigation, fire officials have said.
The state Attorney General’s Office was the lead agency in the case with the parish Sheriff’s Office’s help.
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