Authorities search for convicted child molester in Santa Clara

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA (KRON) – A Santa Clara man who was convicted for sexually molesting a young girl for over 10 years is missing and authorities are asking for the public’s help to find him.

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office says 55-year-old Apollo Johnsen was supposed to appear in court on Sept 16, but never arrived.

Even though Johnsen was not there, the jury convicted him and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

The DA’s Office says his trial began back in May and after several weeks of evidence and testimony, Johnsen’s lawyer asked for a break in the trial due to a medical issue.

“So the judge granted a 3-month break and then when we were set to return to court, he never returned. He skipped out on a million-dollar bail because he knew he was guilty,” District Attorney Jason Malinsky said.

According to authorities, Johnsen started sexually abusing the girl in 2005 when she was just 6-years-old.

When she was 16, Johnsen raped her but she did not report it until May 2016, after she had a panic attack and was hospitalized.

“He violently attacked, molested a young girl starting when she was 6, preying on her at a young age, grooming her, molesting her a number of times over a series of years, and violently raping her in her own home when she was 16 years old,” Malinsky said.

Malinsky says the 55-year-old and his victim knew each other, which could be a possible reason why she didn’t come forward until a decade after the abuse began.

“She was afraid. She didn’t want to break her family apart, so she kept the secret. She did finally have the courage to come forward, she did testify against him in court and now he’s on the run,” Malinsky said.

On June 29, 2016, Johnsen was arrested but released on bail later that year in Nov.

He was convicted on Thursday for 16 counts of child molestation and charged for a prior strike.

The DA’s office says he was convicted for robbery and false imprisonment back in 1993.

In that case, he pretended to be a heating/air conditioner repairman in order to gain access to a credit union before it was open.

He is said to have stolen $50,000 while holding two women employees at gunpoint before one of them was able to escape.

Officials say he owned Day and Night Furnace Co. in Santa Clara and changed his name from Dennis Ray to Apollo.

Johnsen ran his company from his home and neighbors say they haven’t seen him in about a month.

Some say they had no idea of his convictions, while others say there was always something off about him.

Johnsen is facing life in prison.

If you have any information, authorities ask you to contact Detective Scott Mead with the Santa Clara Police Department at (408) 882-7474.

Officials say if you see him, do not try to detain him yourself.

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