Suspected Identity Thief Released During Arraignment

Jerome Johnson

The individual arrested for his alleged involvement in an identity theft scandal that affected several ETU students and faculty was released today during his arraignment. In a closed courtroom, Jerome Johnson gave a brief statement before the judge and other courtroom officials. Shortly thereafter, Johnson was seen walking out of the courtroom without escort and permitted to leave the building.

After the hearing, public defender Louis Rainer spoke to the press outside the courthouse, “We simply had the wrong individual. Jerome Johnson was as much a victim of the recent identity theft scheme as many other Pinebox citizens were.” As it turns out, Jerome Johnson had had his identity infiltrated allowing  the real criminal to plant a substantial amount of evidence leading Pinebox authorities to believe Johnson was responsible for the entire illegal operation. Rainer also noted that Johnson requested that he himself speak to the court in order to prove his innocence.

“Johnson’s presentation of his case was remarkable,” noted Rainer. “For a cryptography expert, Johnson was personable and easy to empathize with. In 14 minutes Judge Lindsay had ruled in Johnson’s favor and released him with the apologies of the court.”

While a transcript of the case was requested, court reporter David Bridges notified the Report that his electronic record was corrupted shortly after Judge Lindsay had made his ruling due to a power surge that ran through the building. Security recordings within the courthouse were also affected by the power surge causing their storage drives to be irreversibly damaged. The attached image is one of the few frames recovered from the damaged drives.

Johnson is believed to have returned to ETU to resume his graduate work. Pinebox authorities have resumed their investigations into the true identities of the thieves.

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