Local News

May 28, 2014

Three arrested in post-prom sexual battery make bond (Updated 2:38 p.m.)

ELLIJAY — Three Calhoun High School seniors who were not allowed to go through graduation ceremonies last week for their roles as suspects in a post-prom battery assault in Ellijay were arrested today, according to the Times-Courier.

“We have taken warrants as of (Tuesday) afternoon on three individuals, and they are Fields Chapman, Andrew Haynes and Avery Johnson, and charged them each with one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count each of possession of alcohol by an underage person,” said Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson.

Nicholson said all three, each 18, are represented by different attorneys and that their lawyers were contacted and told to let their clients know they needed to turn themselves in to the Gilmer County jail by 11 a.m. Wednesday. They were all booked, given $51,000 bonds each and bonded out.

The victim in the case, an 18-year-old female Calhoun High student, told a Calhoun Police Department officer May 11 that she had been raped by “multiple guys” at a post-prom party the night before at 20 Edgewater Drive in Coosawattee River Resort. Nicholson said more than two dozen participants brought enough alcohol to “float a canoe down the Coosawattee River.”

Each of the teens was involved in Calhoun High athletics, according to stories in regional newspapers and posts on the seniors’ own Facebook pages. Haynes posted a photo of himself in December 2011 receiving a pass with a caption that read, “State Champs ... enough said,” after the Yellow Jackets won the Class AA state football championship that season. In the “2014 Senior Superlatives” found on the Calhoun High website, Johnson was voted “Most Mischievous” and Chapman was selected as “Most Attractive” and for having “Best Hair.”

The parents of a Calhoun High female senior owned the cabin in Coosawattee, but Nicholson said he did not think they played a primary role in providing alcohol and that they allowed their daughter to use the cabin to have six or eight friends over after the prom.

There were 16 Calhoun High students and one Southeast Whitfield High School student interviewed after the party, according to a sheriff’s office incident report. The victim said she awoke at 2 a.m. in the morning in an upstairs bathroom after being “passed out.”

The Southeast Whitfield High student, Rhett Harper, was listed as the fourth suspect in the incident report, but a warrant was not issued for his arrest.

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