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Racine billionaire due in court on assault charge

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — A Racine billionaire accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl for several years might have his felony charge downgraded to a misdemeanor.

Curt Johnson III is due in court Friday for a plea and sentencing hearing.

He’s charged with repeated sexual assault of a child. The felony carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

But prosecutors say the victim refuses to cooperate, and Johnson’s counseling records aren’t being made available. So prosecutors say their only viable chance for conviction is for fourth-degree sexual assault. That’s a misdemeanor charge with a maximum jail sentence of nine months.

The 49-year-old Johnson is the former chairman of Diversey Inc., a Wisconsin-based cleaning-products company owned by the same parent company as SC Johnson.

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