Lawrence man charged with sex crimes against 8-year-old

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

Updated at 5 p.m. Monday

A Lawrence man has been charged with sexually abusing an 8-year-old child for the past several years.

Johnie L. Saluto, 30, was arrested Friday and held on $500,000 bond, according to jail records.

The alleged abuse dates back to 2015, when the child was 4, according to the complaint, filed Monday in Douglas County District Court.

Saluto is charged with four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, each count an off-grid level felony punishable by up to life in prison. He’s also charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and one misdemeanor count of promoting obscenity to a minor, against the same child.

The case stems from a sex crime report made to Lawrence police a week ago, on May 13, according to the police department’s activity log. Police last week declined to release more information about the report other than that it involved a child.

Saluto made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon via video from the jail. He told Judge James George that he planned to hire his own attorney but did not make additional comments.

At the request of prosecutor Amy McGowan, the judge approved keeping Saluto’s bond at $500,000.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to release Saluto’s mugshot to the Journal-World.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd