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Georgia prom party rape mirrors Steubenville rape case in Ohio

Once again high school football players (and also a baseball player as well this time) are in the news for an alleged gang rape against a girl after a night of heavy underage drinking during a post-prom party. This time, however, the crime hits closer to home for Georgians, as it is alleged to have happened in Ellijay, Georgia (Gilmer County) instead of Steubenville, Ohio.

Avery Johnson, one of three Calhoun High School seniors accused of sexually attacking a female senior graduate at the school during a post-prom party.
Avery Johnson, one of three Calhoun High School seniors accused of sexually attacking a female senior graduate at the school during a post-prom party.
Courtesy of Gilmer County Sheriff's Office
Calhoun High School senior Fields Chapman shown in his Gilmer County Jail mugshot after being arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault.
Calhoun High School senior Fields Chapman shown in his Gilmer County Jail mugshot after being arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault.
Courtesy of Gilmer County Sheriff's Office

WSB Atlanta reported on May 29, 2014 that three 18-year-old males--Fields Chapman (a football quarterback), Andrew Haynes (a football wide receiver), and Avery Johnson (a baseball pitcher)--allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl, aged 18, at the Coosawattee River Resort during a Calhoun High School post-prom party, injuring her with some type of weapon during the vaginal assault.

It was only six months ago that Newsweek was revisiting the tragic Steubenville rape case, which involved the rape of a W. Virginia 16-year-old girl by football players Ma'Lik Richmond and Trent Mays as others in attendance watched and took photos. That rape occurred during another drunken party full of underage youth at an unchaperoned home in August 2012. In the most recent article, Newsweek was bemoaning the fact that no one is talking about the second Steubenville rape case from Ohio, which involved a 14-year-old girl, and which actually occurred months before the first one the nation heard so much about.

In that article it was pointed out that there appeared to be a desire by those in power in the area (as well as a radio personality) that the second Steubenville rape case not reach the same national attention level this year as the first one did in 2012, albeit for very different reasons.

It's time to let Steubenville move on," Attorney General Mike Dewine said, refusing to comment to the press about whether the new charges leveled against Steubenville school officials in November 2013 pertained to the 16 year old girl's rape from before or if it pertained to that of the 14-year-old victim.

Steubenville radio host David Bloomquist (aka "Bloomdaddy") wasn't as reticent when it came to speaking out about the 14-year-old girl's rape, which is said to have allegedly occurred at one of the coach's houses for the school. But his comment was anything but supportive.

I guess the best way to sum up what I'm saying is this: It's easier to tell your parents you were raped than, 'Hey mom or dad, I got drunk and decided to let three guys have their way with me," Bloomquist said.

Thankfully the 18-year-old alleged sexual assault victim in Georgia (who police say sustained quite extensive injuries after she was violated with a weapon of some sort by three teen Calhoun High School students) does not have to hear a radio personality discount her crime victimization like this radio host in Ohio. But she does have to hear the defendants' defense attorney allude to the same thing in the media.

According to Steve Williams, an attorney from Dalton, who represents Georgia sexual assault defendant Andrew Haynes:

Anything Andrew knows about or saw was consensual," when it comes to the post-prom night's events. Williams also stated that his client left the room when "consensual" acts were going on, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Hospital records will show if the victim in the case suffered damage most likely sustained through nonconsensual means versus consensual sex between willing participants. And the sheriff's office has access to that information, which likely played a major role in prompting the arrests of the three youth charged. But witness statements also matter in such a criminal case, and the sheriff said he took as many as 50.

But attorney Steve Williams discounts the witnesses in this case, pointing out that "everyone in that building--from top to bottom, front to back--was intoxicated."

Twenty-five different people have 25 stories about what happened," Williams added, which shows prosecutors how the criminal defense attorney will try to handle that part of the testimony when the case goes to trial.

A house full of intoxicated males and females populated a residence in Steubenville, Ohio when a 16-year-old girl was raped by two football players. And a cabin full of intoxicated males and females populated a resort in Ellijay, Georgia when an 18-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by two football players and a baseball pitcher. And just like the Steubenville rape case, witnesses abound in the Georgia case. And it isn't likely that the Georgia witnesses will all be discounted in a criminal case just because they may have all been drinking, regardless of the desire of a defense attorney, because witnesses were not discounted in the Steubenville case just because they had been drinking that night.

The defendants in the Georgia case include Damond Avery Johnson, who reportedly lives at 1108 Sunset Drive in Dalton, off Dug Gap road, a town 30 minutes north of Calhoun, in Whitfield County, while the other two defendant's, Fields Benjamin Chapman of 609 Shenandoah Drive and Andrew Isaac Haynes of 263 Thornwood Drive are reportedly both from Calhoun (Gordon County), where all three youth attended high school, but were not allowed to attend graduation this May.

Ellijay, Georgia in Gilmer County was the scene of the alleged aggravated sexual battery attack by the three teen high school graduates during the post-prom party held at a cabin at the Coosawatee River Resort. And all three males have since been released on $50,000 bond. Rape charges could be pending in addition to the sexual battery and possession of alcohol charges leveled if the current GBI forensics exam being conducted determines that the males physically raped the victim as well as penetrated her with a foreign object. The defendants are facing a possible 25 year sentence each if convicted.