ITHACA,N.Y. — The trial of a Lansing man accused of showering naked with a teen for years and allegedly making an inappropriate advance toward him this summer, began Tuesday afternoon.
Lloyd Johnson, 60, is charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. He is accused of confessing intimate feelings for a teen while they were both naked and getting into a shower with multiple shower heads. Johnson said he meant for his comments to be perceived as fatherly.
Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama said in court that on May 21, the teen went to Johnson’s house to help with yard work. Afterward, Johnson and the teen entered a six-foot-by-six-foot shower area at the home to clean up, and while nude, Johnson allegedly made confessions to the teen.
“He told (redacted) that he was in love with him and that he had been in love with him,” Lama said.
She said the teen rebuffed the advance, and while the two showered, Johnson recounted a homosexual experience he’d had as a young man.
The teen told his own boyfriend about the incident, a school counselor and his parents, making a statement to police within a few days of the incident.
Lama said Johnson’s “explanations and excuses” about the incident were lies to cover up what actually happened on May 21.
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Johnson’s Attorney James Baker, however, painted a different version of events about what happened. He said Johnson and the teen had worked together for years and had a close relationship where they talked about personal matters.
“They got so close, they were like father and son,” Baker said.
When Johnson told the teen about his own experiences with a homosexual relationship, Baker said he did so out of concern.
“It was very private to him and he didn’t share it with anybody,” he said.
Johnson had been ostracized and picked on because of that relationship and was offering advice and a helping hand to the teen, not making a sexual advance, Bakers said.
After opening statements, the male victim took the stand.
The teen said that the shared showers began happening years ago and he was too “uncomfortable and confused” to object.
“I said yes. I didn’t really know how to respond,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to offend Johnson or make a small incident seem like a big issue. So the showers continued, usually while nobody else was around.
The day of the alleged crime, the teen said,”He started off by saying he was taking a risk…He thought I was somebody he could be affectionate with.”
The teen said he told Johnson that he viewed the man as a father figure in his life, but Johnson — who was nude and joining the teen in the shower as they spoke — said the teen meant more to him than that.
“I didn’t know what to do. I would say I kicked into autopilot,” the teen said.
Shortly afterward, the two ate food and the teen went home. He told his boyfriend about the incident shortly afterward.
The trial continues Wednesday afternoon the the Lansing town court.