Man apologizes at sentencing for rape of 15-year-old

He pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year old girl, while she tried to walk to school.

Now he is going to prison for up to 40 years. But before learning his fate, he apologized repeatedly to the victim's family and his own.

It was a day in court full of regret for 22-year-old Justin Johnson. At first the man accused of a raping a high school student at gunpoint tried to withdraw his guilty plea.

"I feel like I was really peer-pressured to take this plea," he said. "Because I was told I wasn't going to win this trial, due to DNA and due to her word.

"I'm really innocent. I didn't rape this young lady at all."

But the judge didn't buy it and upheld Johnson's original guilty plea. Back in June, Johnson forced a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him. 

The victim had been waiting for her friend at a Henry Ford High School bus stop. But her friend never showed, as she was killed in a crash, hit while crossing Eight Mile Road, the night before.

The 15-year-old started walking to school alone when she was raped by Johnson. 

His attorney asked the judge to show some mercy.

"I would ask for nine years, two for the gun, seven for the criminal sexual conduct," said Tatanisha Shondrai-Morenike.

But before the judge could make a ruling, Johnson showed another sign of remorse. First, towards the victim of his crime.

"I want to address the family," he said. "I would like to say I'm sorry for what I am accused of, for what I have done. I am sorry and I ask you all to forgive me."

Then Johnson spoke of the other lives that would be affected by his actions last June.

"I have a 3-year-old son, that I will never be allowed to see," Johnson said.

Then as his own family wiped tears away, one final regret.

"I would like to say sorry for failing you," Johnson said. "I'm sorry."

After hearing it all, the judge sentenced Johnson to spend 18 to 40 years in prison.