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Eleven arrests for sex offender

A local transient and registered sex offender is in jail for the 11th time since he arrived in September in Nevada County, confounding local law enforcement with a mountain of paperwork and headaches.

Every time Michael Johnston, 50, gets out of jail, he must re-register with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office within five days of his release to ensure that officials know where he lives. He’s been arrested 10 times since his arrival from Placer county in mid-September.

“He gets arrested for alcohol-related disorderly conduct during which he harasses and annoys people,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Investigations Administrative Assistant Nancy Anderson, responsible for keeping track of all 125 registered sex offenders in the sheriff’s jurisdiction.



“He’s brought himself to the attention of all three local law enforcement agencies and he’s viewed as problematic and argumentative.”

When Johnston is arrested for public drunkenness, he is often released on his own recognizance after 48 hours and fined, which is common for disorderly conduct arrests.




Johnston has the option of serving jail time instead of paying his fines, which is why he’s currently incarcerated.

Although he is homeless, Johnston listed the address of a woman he had raked leaves for in Nevada City when he re-registered recently.

“She was not happy when she found out,” Anderson said.

She said Johnston can register as a transient, and in that case, he has to go to the sheriff’s office monthly to notify officials of his whereabouts. That’s in addition to the post-incarceration registration.

Registered sex offenders who are not transients must register every year within five days of their birthdays and within five days of their release from jail.

Anderson said she’s never encountered a sex registrant with such a habit for getting arrested.

“I’ve never seen it to this degree,” she said.


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