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3 star high school athletes charged in post-prom gang rape

Three high school students were arrested after allegations of a gang rape and dozens of interviews prompted the Gilmer County Sheriff's Office to file charges of aggravated sexual assault for an alleged attack following the Calhoun High School prom.
David Benbennick, Creative Commons

According to Georgia authorities, three star high school athletes from Calhoun High School in Gilmer County have been charged in a case of alleged rape of an 18-year-old female at a party following the school prom. Although the young woman could not readily identify her attackers (because she had been drinking), the Sheriff's Office took the allegations seriously, the results being the arrest of the three athletes and an ongoing investigation that could net quite a few more charges being levied against a number of young people.

Crimefeed reported June 5 that, following charges of underage drinking and aggravated sexual assault being brought against them, three Calhoun High School seniors – football quarterback Fields Chapman, wide receiver Avery Johnson, and star baseball player Andrew Haynes -- all turned themselves in this week. Two of the three had been charged before with underage drinking, and one the two was still on probation from said charge the night of the alleged prom rape.

The Sheriff's report revealed that the victim had passed out in the bathroom of a cabin in Coosawattee River resort after the May 10 Calhoun High School prom. She maintains she was sexually assaulted by multiple guys but she could not identify them. Information provided investigators led them to find the alleged victim had been sexually assaulted in a bedroom in the cabin.

There were no parents at the cabin. Reports indicate that there were close to thirty students in the building, all under the age of 20.

According to WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn., witnesses interviewed provided the answers that the victim could not supply.

After conducting more than 50 interviews, the Gilmer County Sheriff's Office decided to press charges. Also involved in the investigation is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"Her injuries were substantial," Sheriff Stacey Nicholson said. "Respectfully speaking... I've been here 23 years, her injuries were substantial." He said he is convinced the three suspects pariticipated in the attack.

Investigators say they will file charges against all they can prove were involved in underage drinking that night.

The three athletes were not charged with rape due to the Sheriff's Office's inability to prove that a rape -- or any form of intercourse -- had occurred.

The gang rape of the young woman is darkly reminiscent of the Steubenville (Ohio) rape case that shocked and gripped the nation. In that particular case two high school football stars were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party while she was incapacitated. It also comes on the heels of gang rape atrocities in Malaysia, where a 15-year-old girl was raped by 38 men, and in India, where two teen sisters were gang-raped by a group of men and then hanged.

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