An Arapahoe County jury returned guilty verdicts against Johnny Dewayne Harris on Sept. 19, more than a year after Harris violently attacked a woman along the Mary Carter Greenway in Littleton.
Harris, 49, was found guilty on six counts, according to a news release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, including kidnapping, strangulation, unlawful sexual contact and three counts of attempted sexual assault. Harris’ sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20. He faces 16 to 128 years in prison.
Harris snuck up behind a woman walking her dog on the trail near Santa Fe Drive and Brewery Lane the morning of July 25, 2018, according to the release, and threw a rope around her neck before dragging her into a wooded area.
The woman fought back during the attack, knocking Harris’ glasses off his face. Harris hogtied the woman, but she was able to remove the ropes and run back to the trail.
Several bicyclists stopped to assist the woman, and Harris was apprehended soon afterward. The woman’s dog was found safe.
At the time of the attack, Harris was wanted in Denver on suspicion of sexual assault and for failing to register as a sex offender, according to the release.
“Harris is the embodiment of the nightmarish rapist who jumps from the bushes to grab and sexually assault the innocent and unsuspecting,” District Attorney George Brauchler said in the news release. “I am impressed and grateful for the Colorado courage displayed by the victim both at the hands of her would-be rapist and in front of a jury of strangers. Let the word go forth from this courtroom that we will not tolerate rapists in our community. For those who seek to weaken our laws regarding sex offenders, let this be a reminder of what is at stake. Monsters like Harris are yet another reason we build prisons.”
In a statement, the woman expressed gratitude for how the case was handled.
“It’s hard to describe the emotions going through my mind as this has been the hardest week of my life since the attack. I can’t thank everyone who has been with me throughout the process enough… I am a survivor, and through the help of all of you I am able to be here to thank you all today.”
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