Rapist of Top Gun Actress Convicted in New Assault
NEW YORK, June 12, 2006 -- An ex-convict who raped a celebrity nearly 25 years ago and who once threatened to kill two former U.S. presidents was found guilty Monday of raping and robbing two young women in their home in 1996.
The jury convicted Leroy Johnson, 39, on all eight counts. He faces up to 25 years in prison on each of the two rape counts when state Supreme Court Justice Renee White sentences him June 27.
Johnson, who was jailed without bail while he awaits sentencing, showed no reaction when the verdicts were read. The two victims wept and made quiet applause gestures.
Prosecutors said Johnson forced his way into the two women's Greenwich Village apartment on Nov. 18, 1996, then raped and robbed them at knifepoint. He was arrested last year after DNA and evidence from the scene was submitted for advanced testing.
Johnson is widely reported to have been the person who raped actress Kelly McGillis in 1982, an attack she has discussed publicly.
Last week, Assistant District Attorney Michele Bayer said Johnson had previously been convicted of raping two other women in 1982, when he was 15. "The second victim has since become famous and has spoken publicly about the case," she said.
McGillis' personal manager, David Williams, said the Manhattan district attorney's office had contacted the actress to let her know Johnson's trial was starting.
McGillis, who starred in "Top Gun," has spoken publicly in several interviews about being raped by a 15-year-old assailant who broke into her apartment when she was in early 20s and studying acting in New York.
When Johnson finished a term at Auburn State Prison in December 1991, he was arrested by U.S. marshals after prison employees reported hearing him threatening the lives of two former presidents, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. He was convicted on those charges in November 1992.
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