Local News

May 28, 2014

Recent Southeast Whitfield High graduate not charged in sexual battery case

A recent Southeast Whitfield High School graduate is not among three men charged with the sexual battery of a woman at an alcohol-fueled post-prom party in Ellijay earlier this month.

Fields Chapman, 609 Shenandoah Drive, Andrew Haynes, 263 Thornwood Drive, and Damon Avery Johnson, 321 Doubletree Drive, all 18 and 2014 graduates of Calhoun High School, were each charged by the Gilmer County’s Sheriff’s Office with one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count of possession of alcohol by a minor.

Rhett Harper, the former Southeast Whitfield student who was at the party, was not charged.

Sam Sanders, Harper’s Dalton-based attorney, told The Daily Citizen last week that Harper was only a witness in the case and was no longer a suspect.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office incident report from May 11 lists 16 Calhoun High students — including the three charged — and Harper. Chapman, Haynes, Johnson and Harper were listed as suspects in the rape investigation. Sanders said Harper was at the party, but “did not participate in any sexual assault whatsoever.”

The incident at 20 Edgewater Drive in Coosawattee River Resort involved older teenagers from Calhoun High School who traveled there after their high school prom, bringing alcohol. The 18-year-old victim told a Calhoun Police Department officer the afternoon of May 11 she had been raped by “multiple guys” earlier that morning at the cabin, according to the incident report. The girl did not say who raped her, saying only that at about 2 a.m. she was “passed out” in an upstairs bathroom at the cabin.

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