Ashleigh Crouch, News Correspondent
Two additional suspects were charged in with second-degree rape in connection with the series of reported statutory rapes that allegedly occurred in and around JSU.
According to Jay Harrington, an investigator in the Calhoun-Cleburne Major Crimes Unit, the two additional suspects were both arrested on Monday, Sept. 30, bringing the total of suspects up to twelve.
Harrington confirmed that Monday’s arrest are expected to be the last ones connected to this case and that there are no more outstanding warrants.
All of the eleven people charged with second-degree rape involve the same victim, and the charge of second-degree sodomy involves a second victim.
On Sept. 20, the names and mugshots of nine suspects arrested in connection with the case were released by the Calhoun County Jail.
Those names are James Lyle, 19, charged with second-degree rape; Walker Harris, 18, charged with second-degree sodomy; Reece Barton, 19, charged with second-degree rape; Avory Triston Cosby, 20, charged with second-degree rape; Seth Robert Emmenegger, 22, charged with second-degree rape; Christian Lane Homesley, 19, charged with second-degree rape; Daniel Ralph George, 18, charged with second-degree rape; Caleb Matthew Lafollette, 21, charged with second-degree rape and Kyler Taran Morgan, 18, charged with second-degree rape.
The names of the two final arrests made have not yet been made public.
The JSU crime log has records of six incidents that occurred between January 1, 2019 and September 3, 2019 at Meehan Hall, Dixon Hall, Sparkman Hall, the parking lot of Rowe Hall and off campus on Mountain Street.
Bill Broome, a defense attorney for several of the suspects in this case, called the victim a “predator” and stated that she had “a fake university ID and used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tinder to present herself as an adult”. Broome alleges that the victim is a 15-year-old girl who identified herself as a 19-year-old JSU student to several of the suspects.
JSU students were notified of an ongoing investigation involving “non-students coming onto JSU property of communicating with JSU students by electronic means” via email on September 12 and urged to be cautious on-campus and when speaking to anyone online. Extra security measures were also added in Meehan and Sparkman Halls to ensure the safety of the residents.
Under Alabama state law, a person is guilty of second-degree rape if “being 16 years or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old, provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.”
Second-degree rape is considered a Class B felony and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
Harrington stated that “this was an isolated incident, and the students, faculty and staff of JSU are safe.”