Listen to this article

URBANA – A Champaign County judge Wednesday sentenced a man convicted of raping an intoxicated University of Illinois student to 13½ years in prison.

Judge Heidi Ladd said the public, particularly UI students who make the poor choice of drinking to excess, needs to be protected from the likes of Johnny Broadnax.

In January, a Champaign County jury convicted Broadnax, 41, who listed his address as the TIMES Center, 70 E. Washington St., C, of criminal sexual assault for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old man who was so intoxicated he didn't realize what was happening to him. The attack occurred behind an apartment building in the 500 block of South Third Street near Healey Street on Sept. 21.

Ladd noted that Broadnax led the stumbling man to a secluded area where he got him on the ground and assaulted him. "Instead of lending him a helping hand, he targeted him as someone who wouldn't understand ... to satisfy his own depraved needs. He preyed upon him in the most despicable manner," Ladd said.

Broadnax maintained his innocence at sentencing, saying he was only trying to help the man.

At trial, Champaign police officers testified they saw Broadnax and the young man together and followed them, fearing that the intoxicated student might be a robbery target. By the time the officers intervened, the sexual assault was under way. The officers ordered the pair to stand up. Broadnax did, proclaiming that he and the man were engaged in a consensual act — a fact the victim denied.

Reporter

Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).