Three recent graduates of Calhoun High School are now facing charges of sexual battery and underage alcohol consumption in the alleged sexual assault of a young woman at an after-prom party in Gilmer County May 11.
Sheriff Stacy Nicholson says the Andrew Haynes, Avery Johnson, and Fields Chapman, all 18, attended the party at a cabin belonging to another girl's parents.
"I think this initially started out going to be six or eight girls, who were friends, at an after-prom party is what was told and... then spread," he says.
In all, nearly 30 underage drinkers attended the party with no adults present where beer, wine, and liquor were plentiful.
Nicholson says after three to five hours of drinking, the three suspects are accused of using an object to sexually assault the girl. The sheriff does not believe sexual intercourse occurred.
He says charges of underage drinking could be brought against all minors attending the party who can be shown to have consumed alcohol. No charges are expected against the owners of the cabin.
In all, Nicholson says his detectives interviewed more than 50 people in case and he defended taking his time in making the arrests.
"About three days into the investigation, we kind of knew where we were headed with this and we just wanted to get all we could get before we put people in jail," he says.
The three teens all turned themselves into the Gilmer County Jail by early Wednesday afternoon and bonded out on $51,000 bond. None of the them were allowed to attended graduation ceremonies at Calhoun High last Friday night.