Plea Bargain, Stayed Sentence for Man Accused of Trying to Abduct 7-year-old Girl

A Coon Rapids man has received a plea bargain and a stayed sentence in an attempted kidnapping and sexual assault case involving a child that shook the metro late last summer.

Aaron Daniel Johnson

A Coon Rapids man has received a plea bargain and a stayed sentence in an attempted kidnapping and sexual assault case involving a child that shook the metro last summer.

Aaron Daniel Johnson was charged last August with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of false imprisonment after grabbing a 7-year-old girl in Fridley last July and trying to engage in sexual contact with her.

The incident had the community on edge for several days between the time it occurred on July 26 and when Johnson was apprehended several days later.

According to the original criminal complaint, on Friday, July 26, police responded to the 7300 block of Taylor Street Northeast in Fridley, MN, on a report of an attempted abduction.

Police learned that a male had driven down the street multiple times before stopping near two young girls, ages 6 and 7, who were on bicycles. The male reportedly opened his driver’s door and grabbed the 7-year-old, pulled her toward him and put her hand on his genitals.

The incident was interrupted when a man from the neighborhood approached and yelled at Johnson, causing him to flee the area.

Police were able to identify and track down Johnson’s vehicle through surveillance video in the area, and he was arrested on July 31. Johnson eventually admitted to police that he “had a problem” and that he “guided” the child’s hand to touch his genitals.


Under the terms of a plea agreement, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The second same charge was dismissed along with the false imprisonment charge. 

Johnson was sentenced on Tuesday to 108 months in prison, the maximum term recommended on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Grid for Sex Offenders for that level of offense and with Johnson’s level of criminal history score – which is presumed to be zero, since court records show he has no prior felony convictions. 

However, in a dispositional departure, the sentence was stayed for 15 years by Judge James A. Cunningham

Johnson, 29, was alternatively sentenced to 365 days in jail and was given credit for 245 days already served. Under Minnesota statute, offenders are only required to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated, so Johnson was released from custody following sentencing having already met the two-thirds threshold prior to sentencing.

Johnson, whose address prior to arrest was Coon Rapids, will be on supervised probation for 15 years and must register as a predatory offender. Johnson will not be subjected to “community notification” requirements, but must notify his employer, landlord, immediate family members and significant other(s) of his sexual offense conviction. Johnson will be required to meet other terms of probation including no contact with males or females under age 18, and he must complete a sex offender treatment program.

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