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Jacksonville private school teacher accused of molesting student

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 70-year-old Jacksonville private school teacher is accused of molesting a student.

James Rankin Johnson was booked Feb. 11 into the Duval County jail on felony charges of lewd molestation and offenses against a student by an authority figure, according to jail records. He remains in custody in lieu of $250,000 bond.

The charges stem from information provided to police Feb. 9 about a sexual abuse incident involving a teacher at a local private school, the Sheriff’s Office said. Police later determined that Johnson was the suspect and he was taken into custody.

Citing Marsy’s Law, JSO said it would not be releasing the name of the school where Johnson worked. News4Jax has also chosen not to reveal the school’s name.

According to a profile on the website of the school where he works, Johnson was a high school teacher and he had taught in both Duval and Clay counties.

Neighbors told News4Jax that Johnson is a pastor at The Lord’s Lighthouse Ministry. The church’s Facebook page features several videos that include Johnson preaching.

A request for comment from the church and the school where Johnson worked were not immediately returned.

News4Jax visited Johnson’s home address Wednesday evening. The person who answered the door did not wish to make a comment.

On Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office released Johnson’s mug photo in hopes that someone with more information will come forward. Anyone who has relevant information about this investigation is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500.


About the Author:

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.