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Nine charged with rape in case of underage girl

Authorities charged nine people this week in connection with several alleged rapes at or near Jacksonville State University.

On Tuesday, agents from the Calhoun-Cleburne Major Crimes Unit charged a 21-year-old Anniston man, an 18-year-old Centre man, a 20-year-old Jacksonville man, a 19-year-old Jacksonville man and a 22-year-old Guntersville man, each with one count of second-degree rape. 

Court documents allege each of the five men men had sexual intercourse between Jan. 1 and Sept. 1 with a girl younger than 16. Their arrest warrants each listed the same victim. In state law, second-degree rape involves sex with some victims considered incapable of providing consent, including victims younger than 16 or who are “mentally defective.”

Major crimes unit Investigator Jay Harrington said Wednesday that four more people were arrested Wednesday morning, but declined to identify them. Court documents in the cases of those people were not yet available online Wednesday afternoon.

Harrington said all nine arrests are linked to six rape reports that were listed in JSU’s online crime log.

University administrators said Sept. 12 in an email to students police were investigating criminal activity involving non-students coming on campus and contacting students “by electronic means.”

University attorney Sam Monk said Wednesday the email was sent in response to the case.

According to Monk, there has never been any risk to students stemming from this case.

Harrington said he anticipates three more suspects will be arrested within a week; he declined to identify those suspects.

The five men charged Tuesday were booked into the Calhoun County Jail, each with bond set at $500 cash. Court documents indicate the Anniston man and the Centre man were released Tuesday on bond. None of the men on Wednesday were listed as inmates in the jail’s online roster.

The men are all scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 for a preliminary hearing.

Second-degree rape is a Class B felony, which can result in up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $30,000, according to state law.


Contact Staff Writer Mia Kortright at 256-235-3563.