CAMARILLO : Man Convicted of Molesting Girl, 8

A Ventura County Superior Court jury has convicted a former Culver City fire captain of child molestation charges after an 8-year-old Camarillo girl testified that he fondled her.

Thomas Johnston, 45, of Camarillo faces up to 16 years in prison on two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child, after sexually assaulting the girl Dec. 27.

The jury began deliberations last Thursday and met for more than 20 hours before finding Johnston guilty.

The jury deadlocked on a third count of lewd or lascivious acts with a child, which the district attorney’s office agreed to dismiss in light of the other convictions, Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Frawley said.


Johnston fondled the girl, who is the daughter of a friend, while she slept at his house, Frawley said. The girl woke up during the assault but “played possum” until Johnston placed the bedclothes back over her and left, Frawley said.

After the girl’s mother called police and had him arrested, Johnston applied for early retirement from the Culver City Fire Department, where he had worked for 21 years, Frawley said.

Johnston remains free on $10,000 bail, pending his sentencing hearing July 27.