An area lawman, who recovered after he was struck and critically injured while directing traffic last year, now faces a challenge that may end his career. Liberty County Precinct 1 Constable Justin Johnston has been arrested in the wake of an investigation the Texas Rangers, because of his alleged harassment of his ex-fiancée.
According to the affidavit for arrest warrant filed by Ranger Derek Leitner, Johnston committed harassment against the woman on, or about, June 8, 2018. The document states Johnston “with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass” the victim, having sent “repeated electronic communications” to her, “in a manner reasonably likely to harass or annoy or alarm or abuse or torment or embarrass or offend” her.
Leitner went on to explain the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office asked him to conduct an investigation into allegations they received regarding the 41-year-old constable. The woman met with Ranger Leitner and explained that she had been in a two-and-a-half year relationship with Johnston after the pair met online in 2016. She claimed she attempted to end their relationship at the start of 2018, but didn’t completely end things until April. In May, the woman says she met with Johnston in the parking lot of Academy Sports and Outdoors in Humble so that she could return the engagement ring Johnston had given her. She further claimed she made it clear to Johnston at the time that she didn’t want him to try and contact her again. She said Johnston agreed to leave her alone, but only honored that agreement for a short while. On May 21, she says, Johnston sent her about 14 emails between 6:44 p.m. AND 8:53 p.m. prompting her to block his number from her phone. Johnston then, according to the complaint, emailed her a map with the words “I’m 39 minutes from you.”
On May 24, the woman says Johnston sent more unsolicited emails, the first of which said “see you tomorrow, princess.” It was allegedly followed by an email stating, “Actually, I’ll see you tonight, princess.” The woman says she never agreed to meet with Johnston and his words made her afraid he planned to find her.
On May 25, just a day later, she says Johnston sent her an email containing a revealing photo of her, along with the words, “Answer the phone or respond to an email. .. Please”. The woman took that as a threat, believing he meant to imply that if she failed to contact him, he would send the photo to other people. During that time period, she claims Johnston used multiple phone numbers and iCloud email accounts to contact her.
On May 30, the woman says Johnston sent her three audio messages by email, discussing what he’d done and acknowledging that he could go to jail for his behavior, but hoped she wouldn’t press charges because “his career as Constable would be over.” He also admitted using fake numbers to reach her after she blocked him, according to Ranger Leitner.
On June 8, the woman says she sent Johnston an email notifying him she didn’t want him to contact her again in any way. However, she says Johnston continued sending emails and voice messages for 10 more days.
On June 20, he expanded his efforts, contacting the woman’s ex-husband, with whom she shares a child, with a Facebook message that said, “I know we never met but we should talk sometime. Give me a call when you get a few minutes.” Her ex-husband asked why Johnston wanted to talk with him, which was met with a response claiming Johnston loved the children the man and his ex-wife shared, and that he needed to “know about some stuff going on (at the woman’s house).” The woman considered that another attempt to “harass and intimidate her into communicating with him.”
On June 22, Ranger Leitner states he went to Johnston’s home, where Johnston allegedly admitted to the communications the woman detailed. He further said he understood the woman wanted no more communication from him, “and he needed to move on.” After that meeting, Leitner says Johnston stopped trying to reach the woman.
Just under two months later, on August 15, the woman joined a social media site. She soon received notification from the site that Johnston was viewing her profile and had done so a total of 79 times over the course of only eight hours, 26 minutes. The next day, she says Johnston sent three direct messages. Within a couple of weeks, she had received 81 emails, a large number of text messages, and voice messages. The subject line of one email stated, “This makes me long for you … “, “I’ll never quit!”
The messages continued and were increasingly alarming, as she says Johnston seem to know where she was when she was away from her house, causing her great concern for her safety.
On September 2, the woman sent Johnston yet another email asking that all communication be halted immediately. Within an hour, she received another email asking her to allow him to communicate with her. He then sent text messages from other numbers and three more emails.
In summation, Ranger Leitner wrote, “Due to the nature, frequency, and content of the communication sent from the Defendant to the Complainant, she advised it caused her not only annoyance, but also fear for her safety as well as the safety of her children.”
“WHEREFORE, the affiant requests the issuance of an order of arrest for the accused in
accordance with the law.”
The request was granted, and Johnston was arrested.
MCPR will continue to update this story as information becomes available.