A Fulton County judge sentenced three people Wednesday for what she called one of the most heinous crimes she has seen in her career.
Three Atlanta family members — Thomas Johnson, 45; his sister Maryland Johnson, 46; and her daughter Crystal Johnson, 32 — were given maximum life sentences for sexually abusing children, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
They were convicted by a jury last month on charges of abusing three minors from 2004 to 2009. The children were ages 2 to 4 when the abuse began, prosecutors said.
Crystal Johnson was charged with sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, rape, cruelty to children and pimping. Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua sentenced her to five consecutive life sentences plus 150 years to run consecutively.
LaGrua gave Maryland Johnson four consecutive life sentences plus 70 years to run consecutively on charges that included rape and cruelty to children.
Thomas Johnson was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for his crimes, which included aggravated sodomy.
The three defendants also were charged with aggravated child molestation.
Investigators said the children were forced to perform sexual acts on the defendants, and two of them were prostituted. The abuse was revealed during detailed forensic interviews with the children, said Yvette Jones, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office.
Thomas Johnson has been in jail since October 2009, while Maryland Johnson and Crystal Johnson have been in custody since April 2010.
The children have received therapy, and one of them has been committed to a psychiatric residential treatment facility since 2009, Jones said.