8 defendants cleared in statutory rape case

Eight defendants were cleared of all charges in connection to a series of alleged sexual assaults at or near the campus of Jacksonville State University. (Scott Young/The Chanticleer)Eight defendants were cleared of all charges in connection to a series of alleged sexual assaults at or near the campus of Jacksonville State University. (Scott Young/The Chanticleer)

Ashleigh Crouch, Correspondent

According to online court records, at least eight of 12 defendants charged in connection with alleged sexual assaults at or near Jacksonville State University no longer face prosecution as of January.

In September of 2019, 11 men were charged with second-degree rape and one man was charged with second-degree sodomy after encounters with underage females. Several of the men charged were students at JSU. 

According to state law, second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy are defined as “sexual intercourse or ‘deviate’ sexual intercourse with a person who is between the ages of 12 and 16 and who is at least two years younger than the perpetrator.” 

According to Calhoun County authorities, the arrests were made based on six rapes reported in JSU’s online crime log. 

Several of the alleged rapes were said to have taken place on or near campus at JSU, including Meehan Hall, Sparkman Hall, Dixon Hall, in the Rowe Hall parking lot, and off campus on Mountain Street. 

Bill Broome, the attorney of one of the men, stated in September that the victim, a then 15-year-old girl, told the defendants that she was a 19-year-old student at JSU. Broome claims that the victim even had a fake JSU ID card and social media accounts in her name that identified her as a JSU student. 

According to Calhoun County court records, no indictments were returned against any of the eight defendants and a search for the other 4 men in question in the state court files turns up no records on the case.

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