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June 11, 2014

Assault suspect loses college baseball scholarship

The investigation into an alleged sexual assault at a alcohol-fueled post-prom party in Georgia has led to at least one suspect losing a college baseball scholarship.

Avery Johnson, one of three 18-year-olds arrested in the case, had his scholarship rescinded by Georgia Highlands College. According to a statement by Raymond Carnley, the school’s chief advancement officer, Johnson was released from his scholarship and letter of intent under a policy that dictates “any signed/committed student who has not yet enrolled be released from his or her letter of intent and any associated scholarship withdrawn in the event that student is charged and/or convicted of a felony.”

Johnson, Fields Chapman and Andrew Haynes have each been charged by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office with one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count of possession of alcohol by a minor. None of them were allowed to take part in Calhoun High School’s graduation ceremony late last month.

The incident in question took place during a party at a cabin at the Coosawattee River Resort on the night of May 10. According to Sheriff Stacy Nicholson, the gathering was supposed to be limited to about a half dozen teenage girls, but after word spread on social media, more than 25 young people — ages 18 to 20 — showed up, many of them bringing alcohol.

Nicholson has said that more arrests are coming “soon,” adding that most of the likely additional charges would be for underage drinking.

“The follow-up investigation is continuing and there will be other charges as stated initially,” Capt. Frank Copeland said Tuesday. “However, we are not in a position to be able to discuss exactly what charges due to the ongoing status. There is still quite a bit of work to do.”

Information for this story was reported by the Dalton (Ga.) Daily Citizen.

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