Woodstock man sentenced on child molestation charges

John Bohen

WOODSTOCK — A local man Friday received the maximum sentence under a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty in February to six sex offenses committed against children.

John McGee Bohen, 60, was indicted in July 2015 in the molestation of two 6-year-old girls — one in 2004 and the other in 2014. According to the prosecution’s evidence, Bohen forced the girls to fondle him on a daily basis, and threatened to hurt them if they told anyone or did not comply.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola noted for the court that the older victim came forward about the abuse, but her family did not believe her at the time. He also noted that if they had believed her then, the abuse of the second victim 10 years later could have been prevented.

“It breaks my heart,” Campola said.

He also argued against the sex offender evaluation, which stated that Bohen is at a low to moderate risk of re-offending. Campola said that he believes Bohen is at a high risk to re-offend considering that he committed the second offense 10 years later. Campola also argued that Bohen, in the pre-sentence investigation, was “trying to minimize” what he did to the two girls.

“There is no remorse in this situation,” Campola said of Bohen.

Bohen’s attorney, Allison Neal, argued in favor of the lighter sentence of six years because Bohen is 60 years old and is suffering from Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes nerve cells in the brain to deteriorate over time. Neal argued that Bohen’s health has already declined significantly, noting that Bohen has lost his ability to walk and was wheelchair-bound during Friday’s hearing.

Neal said that Bohen’s health mitigates the risk of re-offending, and that his health is deteriorating too rapidly. She also said that Bohen is accepting responsibility for the crimes he committed against the two young girls.

“I would like to apologize to the family, tell them I’m really sorry,” Bohen said before he was sentenced. “My heart goes out to the girls because of what I did.”

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp compared this case to the child sex case of recently sentenced Richard Owen Keller, where Hupp upheld a jury’s verdict and delivered the maximum sentence of 30 years. Hupp said that a sentence at the high end of the sentencing guidelines would be adequate considering Bohen’s age and health issues, noting that he could easily justify exceeding the guidelines because of the crimes.

“It’s abhorrent to our society,” Hupp said as he explained his sentencing decision.

Bohen was sentenced to a total of 43 years in prison, with 13 of those years being active incarceration. He must also complete 10 years of supervised probation after his release. Bohen is not allowed to have any contact with the victims or any unsupervised contact with a female minor. He also may not view or possess pornography and must undergo sex offender treatment.