3 plead guilty to sex abuse of a handicapped woman

Three people charged with raping and torturing a 23-year-old mentally handicapped woman in Etowah County have entered guilty pleas.{}

Rex Maurice Johnson, 54, and his wife, 43-year-old Toni Renea Johnson of Gadsden were indicted in December 2011 on two counts each of first-degree rape and sodomy and sexual torture, all of which are Class A felonies. Pursuant to a plea agreement, they will be sentenced to 20 in the a state penitentiary as to each of the six counts of the indictment.

Steven William Holder, 28, also plead guilty to two charges - second-degree assault and sexual misconduct -- as well as a charge of second-degree domestic Violence. He was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison in the cases.

All of the charges stem from the case in August of 2011. Gadsden police found the rape victim handcuffed to a bed and with her hair cut off.

The woman told officers there was an ongoing history of sexual assault against her and she{} had been living with the Johnsons and Holder.{}

The cases have been consolidated for trial with jury selection scheduled to begin upon the entering of pleas.

District Attorney Jimmie Harp said the defendants will spend a significant amount of time in prison and will be registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives. {}