WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former local restaurant owner pleaded guilty to child sex charges in Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas.

According to court records, Joel Johnson, 44, of Warren, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. A charge of gross sexual imposition was dropped.

Johnson was arrested on a secret indictment by a Trumbull County grand jury in February.

Johnson was on probation in a 2020 conviction for a 2017 charge of compelling prostitution when he was arrested in connection to this case and accused of paying a minor to engage in sex for hire, according to the indictment.

Johnson was the owner of the Pho Viez Restaurant in Mineral Ridge. The restaurant is listed as permanently closed.

Johnson will be sentenced following a presentence investigation.