Prominent attorney accused of drugging female employee at bar, officials say

A prominent attorney????in Gwinnett County has been arrested, accused of drugging one of his female employees, officials said.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A prominent attorney in Gwinnett County is accused of drugging one of his female employees at a bar.

Anthony O. Van Johnson, 61, is an Army veteran and trial lawyer who handles a variety of legal matters including personal injury, family law and immigration.

But police allege that the attorney broke the law the night he took one of his employees to a Bahama Breeze in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett County Police Department charged Van Johnson with administering a Schedule I drug illegally.

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The investigation into Van Johnson began in September of 2017. The employee, who worked as an interpreter for Van Johnson, said the attorney took her out for dinner after work as he had done before.

The employee said she ordered a drink and went to the restroom before things took an unexpected turn. When she returned, the employee said she noticed a powder at the bottom of her drink.


The alleged victim told police she assumed the powder in the drink was extra salt that she ordered.

"[She] consumed the beverage then had no recollection until she woke up numerous hours later at her house where she had passed out," Cpl. Wilbert Rundles, with Gwinnett County Police Department, said.

Police said tests indicated the woman had been drugged.

"We did find out later that GHB was in her system. People know that commonly as the date rape drug," Rundles said. "A sexual assault exam was performed. We are still waiting on the results of that."

Those who consume gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid often lose consciousness and memory recall.

Investigators believe there may be other victims.

"If there are any other victims or people who have information about this, please come forward," Rundles said.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to Van Johnson for comment, but we have not heard back.