BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A foster mother was arraigned in Butte County Superior Court on Thursday on multiple counts of child abuse, including assault, criminal threats, and hate crime enhancements, according to Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey.
Candace Lee Johnson, 49, of Oroville, was booked into the Butte County Jail on Sept. 21 for the abuse she committed against six children in her custody ranging in ages from four to 15 years old.
Ramsey said a Butte County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the abuse began on Aug. 28 when a video surfaced depicting what appeared to be Johnson physically abusing one of the children in her home.
Johnson was initially arrested and booked on a single count of child abuse and another count of assault on Aug. 29 but she posted bail and was out of jail within 24 hours. The children were removed from her home by child protection authorities.
The investigation into Johnson continued after she bailed out of jail and evidence of more acts of child abuse were discovered.
An ongoing investigation led to information that Johnson regularly hurled racial epithets at the only two children of color in her custody and that abuse toward these children was motivated in part because of their race, Ramsey said.
A warrant was issued for her arrest based on these new charges, but multiple attempts to locate Johnson and make the arrest were unsuccessful.
Then on Sept. 21, Johnson turned herself into the Butte County Jail.
The Butte County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Johnson alleging eight counts of child abuse, criminal threats, and assault with two hate crime enhancements.
Johnson is scheduled to appear in court with her attorney on Sept. 29, at 8:30 a.m. for further arraignment/entry of plea. She remains in custody with bail set at $330,000.