(Marion County, FL) Yesterday, a jury found 28-year-old Johnathon Michael Apenzeller guilty of three felony counts of Lewd and Lascivious Battery and one felony count of Possession of Child Pornography.
“Cases such as this highlight the importance of safeguarding the well-being of our children,” said William “Bill” Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “Our legal system stands firm against the exploitation of children and we will continue to vigorously prosecute anyone who harms a child.”
On February 7, 2020, deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) originally responded to a residence in Silver Springs in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival, deputies were informed by the reportee that there was a video of Apenzeller engaged in sexual activities with the victim, who was 12 to 16 years of age.
After interviews were conducted with the reportee and victim, it was discovered that Apenzeller had engaged in multiple sexual acts with the minor child. In one instance, he even recorded those acts on his cell phone while inside the victim’s room.
Investigators then attempted to locate Apenzeller for an interview, which was met with negative results. After numerous attempts, an arrest warrant was issued for Apenzeller. Law Enforcement officials in Ohio located Apenzeller and arrested him on the warrant. He was subsequently transferred and booked into the Marion County Jail.
After being found guilty, the Honorable Judge Lisa Herndon ordered Apenzeller into custody to await his sentencing hearing which will take place on January 18, 2024.
This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Katrina Self and Barbara Harris.