Three seniors at Calhoun High School in Georgia were not allowed to walk at graduation this year. Instead of celebrating new beginnings, they are under investigation for brutally raping another student at an alcohol-soaked after-prom party.
The Associated Press reports that Fields Chapman, Avery Johnson and Andrew Haynes, each 18 years old, have been arrested in relation to a sexual assault at a post-prom cabin party that took place two weeks ago in Ellijay, Georgia.
The victim came to the Calhoun Police Department on May 11, the day after the party, to report that she had been raped by “multiple guys” before passing out in a bedroom of the remote rural cabin.
Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson told local paper the Dalton Daily Citizen that warrants had been issued for the suspects’ arrests. The men turned themselves in and were booked into Gilmer County Jail, but each bonded out on $51,000 bail.
According to Sheriff Nicholson, the festivities included more than 20 students and enough alcohol to “float a canoe down the Coosawattee River.”
Nicholson also told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the victim was not only raped by the suspects, but penetrated with a “foreign object,” accounting for the sexual battery charge.
“Her injuries were substantial,” the sheriff said without elaboration.
Nicholson told press that detectives had conducted more than 50 witness interviews and had obtained “very valuable information” about the case, though few details have been made public.
He did note that least one witness was present at the time of the assault, though no one came forth to try and stop it.
“This has been a very emotional case, certainly for the city of Calhoun and Calhoun High School,” Nicholson said at a press conference.
The teens are known in the community as high school athletic stars, with Facebook pages showing off photos of football championship wins. In a profile titled “Meet the Future of Charger Baseball,” Avery Johnson is introduced as the first incoming freshman pick in Georgia Highlands College baseball team.
The Calhoun High website lists Johnson as his class’s pick for “Most Mischievous,” while Chapman won senior superlatives “Most Attractive” and “Best Hair.”
The suspects will likely be additionally charged for underage consumption of alcohol. They could face 25 years to life in prison for the aggravated sexual battery charge, a felony criminal offense.