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Silvia Johnson Tearfully Apologizes In Court

POSTED: 8:50 pm EST November 14, 2005
UPDATED: 6:39 am EST November 15, 2005

GOLDEN, Colo. -- An Arvada, Colo., mother who provided sex and booze to teenagers because she wanted to be a "cool mom" was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday.

The judge said Silvia Johnson had used poor judgment in hosting the parties and consorting with the students from Arvada West High School. Jefferson County District Judge Peter Weir said her actions had tragic consequences on a number of people in the community and that truly cool moms provide guidance, attention and love, not alcohol and sex.

Just before the sentencing, the 41-year-old Johnson apologized.

"I've learned my lesson. I know I've hurt so many people, not just the boys but my own family ... myself and my community. I know I have a serious mental illness," Johnson said, sobbing.

Johnson's attorney argued a bipolar disorder clouded her judgment and asked the judge for leniency.

Jefferson County prosecutors argued that any mental illness Johnson had did not excuse her criminal behavior.

Prosecutors played a videotape showing Johnson calmly explaining to police why she had sex with teen boys and why she hosted more than a dozen parties for the high school students.

"I fell in love with being a part of the group, in a way, because I was never something ... that was never something I was a part of growing up. I was never in the popular group. I was never 'this.' Never cool, never any of kind this stuff. Where here, I was considered cool, the 'cool mom,'" Johnson said in the videotape.

When an investigator asked her on the tape if the sex was a compulsion she said, "No, not compulsion, but I think what I always had a hard time with is guys who do it are considered studs. A girl does it, she's considered a slut."

Parents of the victims also spoke up in court and said that her behavior had changed their boys' lives forever. They called her perverse and manipulative.

Johnson had faced 58 years in prison on 11 charges that range from contributing to the delinquency of a minor to misdemeanor sexual assault. She was also sentenced for a variety of other misdemeanors in unrelated cases, including five counts of violation of a restraining order, and two counts of assault in the third degree, for conduct involving her former husband and children.

Jefferson County District Attorney's Office spokesman Carl Blesch said Johnson will be eligible for parole in slightly more than 10 years.

Johnson's sentencing had to be postponed after a serious car wreck on Sept. 25 left her facing even more charges. She was in a sport utility vehicle driven by a 14-year-old girl that rolled on Interstate 25. The girl was not old enough to drive and one of the children in the car was Johnson's son.

Johnson faces additional charges for violating a protective order that barred her from having contact with her son and Douglas County prosecutors said they are considering filling charges against Johnson in connection with the SUV accident, since she allegedly allowed a child to drive.

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