Authorities charged two more men Monday in connection with a series of alleged rapes on or near the Jacksonville State University campus.
Calhoun-Cleburne Major Crimes Unit investigator Jay Harrington said both men each face one count of second-degree rape. According to Harrington, Monday’s arrests were expected to be the last ones connected to the case.
Five men were charged Sept. 17 with second-degree rape. The next day, three men were also charged with second-degree rape and one man was charged with second-degree sodomy.A 10th man was charged Sept. 25, also with second-degree rape.
Harrington said all 11 second-degree rape arrests in the case involve the same underage victim, while the second-degree sodomy arrest involves a second victim.
According to JSU’s online crime log, some of the reported 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.
Harrington said one of the victims’ relatives reported an incident to Jacksonville police, who passed the case to the major crimes unit.
School administrators on Sept. 12 sent an email informing students about an investigation of criminal activity involving a non-student coming onto campus and contacting students “by electronic means.” The email urged students to be careful when talking to anyone.
JSU attorney Sam Monk said the email was sent in response to the case.
It is unknown how many of the defendants are JSU students.
Bill Broome, a defense attorney for several of the men charged, told The Star on Sept. 24 that one victim was a 15-year-old girl who told some of the defendants she was 19.
Broome said the victim had a fake university ID and used social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Tinder to present herself as an adult. A Facebook page under the victim’s name identifies her as a JSU student.
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 a maximum fine of $30,000 upon conviction, under state law.