For release on November 17, 2020
Deputy District Attorney
Sexual Assault Unit
Convicted Molester who fled to Dominican Republic Sentenced to Life in Prison
A man who was captured hiding in the Dominican Republic after being convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl was sentenced on Monday to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Apollo Johnsen, 57, was arrested in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic and brought back by U.S. Marshals earlier this year.
A woman in the Dominican Republic who Googled Johnsen and discovered his crimes turned Johnsen into authorities.
The Hon. Linda Clark sentenced him to the maximum of 240 years-to-life plus 44 years and eight months.
“There is no safe haven for people who harm children in our community,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “From a suspicious mother in the Caribbean to law enforcement to our prosecutor, we worked together to bring this fugitive to justice.”
Starting in 2005, Johnsen began sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl. His assaults culminated when he raped her when she was 16 in her East Bay home. The victim did not tell anyone about the abuse until May 2016 when she was hospitalized for a panic attack. Johnsen was arrested on June 29, 2016, at his home in Santa Clara. He was released on $1 million bail on November 2, 2016. He last appeared in court in June 2019 when the court granted Johnsen a 3-month mid-trial continuance for a medical procedure – time that he used to plan his escape. Johnsen never returned for the remainder of his trial. On September 26, 2019, even though he was still missing, Johnsen was convicted of 16 counts of child molestation.
Soon after he was convicted, the DA’s Office put out the news that Johnsen was wanted, news that spurred the woman to contact authorities.
The woman, who does not want to be identified or interviewed by the media, wrote the prosecutor: “You don't have to say thank you. I AM A MOTHER. We are not all pure and have mistakes, but you can't close your eyes to that.”