Republican Donor Samuel Johnson Charged With Sexual Assault of Child

Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:00pm

A prominent Republican donor has been charged with repeated sexual assault of a child.

Samuel Curtis Johnson III, described in Wisconsin media reports as a billionaire member of the family that runs the S.C. Johnson & Son household products company, has been released on a $500,000 bail bond.

While many of Johnson’s political donations have been focused in his home state of Wisconsin, he gave the National Republican Congressional Committee $15,000 in June 2009, according to campaign finance reports. The year before, he gave $1,000 to the Republican National Committee.

There was little reaction from Republicans in Washington when notified by Roll Call on Wednesday of Johnson’s arrest. NRCC and RNC spokesmen declined to comment.

Johnson gave a total of $2,000 to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in four separate donations, the most recent being $250 in October 2010. A Ryan campaign spokesman also declined to comment.

The charge involves 10 to 15 incidents over several years involving a child, now 15, according to a Reuters report. If convicted, Johnson could serve up to 40 years in prison.

“Obviously, this is a personal matter for Curt, but allegations of this type are always deeply disturbing,” Harlan Loeb, a spokesman for the Johnson family, told Reuters. “The family is distraught and hopes for the best for everyone involved.”

Johnson had served as chairman of Diversey Inc., a Wisconsin cleaning product company also controlled by the Johnson family, but took a leave of absence in late February, according to the company.