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Tenth man charged in JSU rape case

Authorities charged a tenth man Wednesday morning in connection with a series of alleged rapes on or near Jacksonville State University’s campus this year.

The 20-year-old Birmingham man was charged with second-degree rape.

Calhoun-Cleburne Major Crimes Unit Investigator Jay Harrington said the man turned himself in around 10:30 a.m. Harrington said he was not sure where the alleged crime took place.

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At around 11 a.m., the man did not appear as an inmate in the Calhoun County Jail’s online roster. Court documents indicate he was booked into jail and released Wednesday on a $500 cash bond.

The man is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 7 for a preliminary hearing.

JSU administrators on Sept. 12 sent an email to students notifying them that a criminal investigation was underway involving a non-student coming onto campus and contacting students “by electronic means.” The email also urged students to be wary of who they talk to via social media.

JSU attorney Sam Monk later said the email was in response to the rape allegations and said students were not under any risk.

It is unknown how many of the defendants are Jacksonville State University students.

One of the defendant’s attorneys, Bill Broome, said the first victim, a 15-year-old girl, told defendants she was 19. He said she also presented herself as 19 through the use of a fake university ID and through social media platforms such as Facebook and Tinder. A Facebook page under the victim’s name lists her as a JSU student.

Harrington said Tuesday all men charged and the remaining men who have active warrants have been cooperative with police. Harrington said he expects all warrants related to the case will be served soon.

Harrington previously told The Star the rapes were initially reported to Jacksonville police, who passed the case to the major crimes unit.

According to JSU’s online crime log, some incidents took place between Jan. 1 and Sept. 3 on campus at Dixon Hall, Meehan Hall, Sparkman Hall and in the Rowe Hall parking lot and off campus on Mountain Street.

The Star typically withholds the identities of those charged with sex crimes until they are convicted or plead guilty, as the stigma that can accompany such charges can linger even if the charges are dropped or the suspect is exonerated.

Second-degree rape is a Class B felony, punishable by up to two decades in prison and up to $30,000 in fines upon conviction, under state law.

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

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