A Platte County jury on Wednesday convicted a Kansas City man of raping a 16-year-old girl while recording the sexual assault on her cellphone.
Martese Johnson-Winters, 20, was found guilty of first-degree rape, sodomy, and sexual exploitation of a minor after a three-day trial this week in Platte County Circuit Court.
According to prosecutors, Johnson-Winters went to the home of the 16-year-old girl in south Platte County shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2018. Johnson-Winters and the girl had been a romantic relationship for several months prior to that attack, Platte County Eric Zahnd said in a news release.
During the visit, Johnson-Winters accused the girl of being unfaithful and brandished handgun.
He pressed the weapon against the girl’s face and body and forced her to perform several sex acts. Johnson-Winters recorded the assaults on the victim’s cellphone.
The victim later told investigators she thought the handgun was loaded, Zahnd said.
Johnson-Winters later told a Platte County sheriff’s deputy the handgun was actually a lighter. He also claimed it was a BB gun. He told the deputy that he had gotten rid of the weapon but it was never located by investigators, Zahnd said.
Jurors recommended Johnson be sentenced to 10 years in prison on the rape and sodomy counts and five years in prison on the sexual exploitation charge. Missouri law requires those prison sentences run consecutively.
“This defendant tried to excuse his crimes by saying he’d been romantically involved with his victim in the past,” Zahnd said. “But there is never an excuse for rape; forcing sex on another person is never justified.”
Johnson-Winters is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5.