A police affidavit has shed more light on the criminal charges filed against former Huntington University cross country and track and field coach Nicholas Johnson, 33, after he was arrested and booked on four felony counts of child seduction, kidnapping, and identity deception on Dec. 11.
Johnson, who is married to professional runner Lauren Johnson, the Indy Star reported on Dec. 14, is currently out on bail after posting $30,000 bond on his four counts. He made his first appearance in Huntington Circuit Court on Dec. 14 and will return to court on Feb. 8 for a pretrial conference.
Johnson first spoke with the Huntington County Police Department on Dec. 2 and openly answered questions. According to the Huntington County police affidavit, it alleges Johnson's criminal conduct began in August after he created a fake email to communicate with a minor.
Huntington County police detective Shane Blair followed up with the person who was inpersonated, who then denied knowing Johnson or giving him permission to use her name.
The affidavit then alleges Johnson traveled out of state with the victim, without the victim's parent's knowledge, to pick up a puppy.
The affidavit also sheds light on sexual allegations. Johnson told police he performed chest treatments on the victim in a "sensual manner" and "agreed his touch crossed the line."
When interviewed by police, the victim said there were times when Johnson grabbed her butt inside her residence and Johnson's. Other times, she told police, Johnson would perform leg massages in his garage, which on two cases, according to the victim, advanced into inappropriate touching.
Huntington County filed a probable cause determination and order with four felony counts on Dec. 10. Johnson was arrested on Dec. 11 before posting bail. A press release issued by the Huntington County prosecutor's office said "the charges filed against Nicholas Johnson are an accusation and Nicholas Johnson is presumed innocent until proven guilty."
While coaching at Huntington, Johnson had a USATF Level 1 certification and was USOC SafeSport certified. He was an assistant coach on the NAIA program's national indoor championship team in 2019 and had led the team to national success in recent seasons.
On Dec. 8, Huntington University posted a job opening for the cross country programs.
At this time, a new head cross country coach has not been announced. Curtis Hines, an assistant coach, is the only mentioned coach on its site. Hines, a 2001 graduate of Huntington University, currently teaches at Huntington North High School.
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MileSplit's Becca Atchley and Cory Mull contributed to this report