Calhoun Case

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Prinnie
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Calhoun Case

Post by Prinnie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:21 pm

party sexual assault are:

• Fields Chapman: Four counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery, a count of sodomy and a count of public indecency. In a separate indictment, he is charged with 28 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

• Andrew Haynes: Four counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery and one count of public indecency.

• Avery Johnson: One count of sodomy, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery and three counts of public indecency.

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Re: Calhoun Case

Post by Prinnie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:25 pm

Calhoun post-prom attack case

Citing "repeated, willful, malicious and false accusations," one of the former Calhoun [Ga.] High School students charged with sexual battery filed a lawsuit against his accuser Thursday.

Fields Benjamin Chapman, along with his parents, said in a Gilmer County Superior Court filing that his former classmate has committed fraud, defamation and extortion. The lawsuit comes as a criminal case against Fields Chapman, and a civil case against his family, remains pending.

In the lawsuit, attorney George Weaver called into question the accuser's character, saying she wanted to have sex with Chapman and other men to make money.

"Plaintiff comes from a family of women who have on multiple occasions raised unfounded allegations of rape and sexual assault in hopes of monetary gains," Weaver wrote. "This lawsuit is proof positive of a continued family tradition."

In May 2014, the Gilmer County Sheriff's Office arrested Chapman, Andrew Isaac Haynes and Damon Avery Johnson on charges of aggravated sexual battery, aggravated battery and public indecency. Johnson also is charged with sodomy. Combined, the three men face 10 life sentences, plus 351 years behind bars.

According to indictments, the men and the accuser attended a party after Calhoun High's prom in a Gilmer County cabin. In an upstairs bedroom, the men penetrated the accuser with their fingers and engaged in oral sex with her.

In January 2015, defense attorneys Jesse Vaughn and Steve "Scoop" Williams said the prosecutors told them they have 50,000 pages of evidence in the case, more than Vaughn or Williams had dealt with in any other criminal case. Both lawyers said last month they still haven't received any of that evidence.

In May, attorneys for the accuser filed a lawsuit against Chapman, Haynes and Johnson — as well as 18 other people. According to that lawsuit, the men brought Ecstasy, Rohypnol and ketamine to the party to drug their accuser, an element of the narrative that the defense attorneys say they've never heard from police or prosecutors.

The accuser's lawyers also wrote that she awoke the morning after the party on the bathroom floor, covered in blood below her waist, not sure what happened to her.

In the lawsuit, the accuser's lawyers asked for $20 million. Weaver, Williams and Vaughn have all filed answers on behalf of their clients this week, saying the sexual encounters were consensual. Unlike Weaver, Williams and Vaughn have not in turn sued the accuser.

Weaver's lawsuit provides Chapman's version of events to the public for the first time.

Before the prom, Weaver said, the accuser told others at Calhoun High that she was going to have sex with Chapman. Then, at the party, she "began to flirt, kiss, hug, fondle and grope multiple males."

Weaver said she had sex with Johnson and later followed Chapman and Haynes into a room upstairs.

"At all times during the encounter," Weaver wrote, "(The accuser) was the aggressor."

Weaver said Chapman remained in the room for about 10 minutes, until some friends told him the accuser had chlamydia.

In Thursday's filing, Weaver asked a judge to dismiss the accuser's lawsuit, rule in favor of Chapman's lawsuit and let a jury decide how much money the accuser owes Chapman. Weaver said the accuser has defamed Chapman and his parents, costing them money in the form of scholarships, future job opportunities and educational experiences.

He said Chapman had hoped to become an orthopedic surgeon, but the University of Georgia rescinded his acceptance in May 2014. Dalton State College later denied his attempts to enroll.

"This is Plaintiff's attempt to reach a deeper pocket without regard to whom she causes damages to in the process," Weaver wrote.

The accuser's attorneys, Bobby Lee Cook and Terry Jackson, could not be reached for comment Thursday, though Cook previously told the Times Free Press he will not discuss the case in its early stages.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6376 or at tjett@timesfreepress.com.

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Re: Calhoun Case

Post by Prinnie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:26 pm

Party time after the prom.

A vacation cabin.

Lots and lots of booze.

The alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old girl.

Three Calhoun High School graduating seniors charged.

It happened more than four years ago.

When Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson was interviewed about the incident, he said there was “enough alcohol there to float a canoe down the Coosawattee River” on the night of May 10 and the early morning of May 11, 2014. The cabin, inside the Coosawattee River Resort near Ellijay, actually sits on the tributary. It is no longer owned by the couple whose daughter, also a graduating senior at Calhoun High School — but not the alleged victim — allowed car after car of underage visitors to get through the resort’s Ellington Road security gate.

Initially, the accuser in the case — whose name is not being used in this article — told authorities she “passed out” around 2 a.m. and was raped by “several guys.” She reported what she thought happened to an officer of the Calhoun Police Department the next day.

Calhoun High seniors Fields Chapman, Andrew Haynes and Avery Johnson were charged with several counts of sexual assault, but not rape. However, five months later, a Southeast Whitfield High School student who was at the cabin testified as a witness in a Gilmer County Superior Court hearing that the alleged sexual acts that night were “100 percent consensual.”

‘Worst ... I’ve seen’

At the same hearing, veteran sheriff’s office investigator Capt. Calvin Wilson testified, “That’s the worst trauma I’ve seen to that part of the body” in regard to the alleged victim.

Judge Amanda Mercier presided over the criminal case until January 2016, when she began serving on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Since then, Judge John Worcester has taken the criminal case.

Although the Gilmer Clerk of Court’s office supplied the Times-Courier with a five-page case index, not much has happened in open court during the last two years. District Attorney Alison Sosebee said in August 2017: “At this point we’re waiting for the case to be set down, and in all reality the trial will take so long we will have to have it specially set.”

Sosebee did not respond to requests for comments for this article.

Attorney Jessie Vaughn of Calhoun, who represents Johnson, told a reporter last week he received notice from Worcester’s office of a “status conference hearing” set for Tuesday.

“He has asked all of us to appear and give him a status update,” he said. “Where the case is, procedurally, is we are still, technically, in the discovery (evidence dissemination) phase of trying to get documents and stuff from the state. I know that (assistant district attorney) Steve Spencer has told us if we provide, I think he said a 1-terabyte external hard drive — it’s a whopping amount of memory — that they will transfer the documents they have onto that and provide them to us for discovery.”

‘Good chunk of time’

Steve Williams, a Dalton attorney representing Haynes, confirmed he had been notified of the status hearing, and the district attorney’s office confirmed the hearing date.

“The main thing procedurally is that all us as defendants made motions at the time of arraignment on the second set of indictments — because you’ll recall the first set of indictments was nolle prossed (not prosecuted) because of some flaws — and we made some motions on the second set of indictments that have never been heard,” Vaughn said. “So I think procedurally what is going to have to happen next is those motions are going to have to be heard, because they would potentially be dispositive of the case.

“Once those are heard, we would make any other motions that are more fact-sensitive, but the motions we’ve made thus far are motions that deal with particular points of law and pleading on the indictments. We have not had a lot of interaction with Judge Worcester on this case. I’m not sure — is he going to push any of us? Is he going to say, ‘Look, y’all need to figure something out with this.’ Is he going to say to the state, ‘Y’all need to decide what you’re going to do with this case’?”

Vaughn said the case “involves so many moving parts.”

“This is not a case that can be tried in a couple of days during a regularly-scheduled trial week,” he said, echoing Sosebee. “This is something that’s going to have to be specially set and will take a pretty good chunk of time to try. Ultimately, that’s going to be the biggest question — how do we get this scheduled? How do we make that work?”

Vaughn was asked about the potential witnesses who could be called to appear at trial while they might be enrolled in college, and potential scheduling issues. Since the case now has gone on for four years, is that still an issue?

“Some of them are still in college,” he said. “But some of them are actually out and graduating this year. It’s going to pose some interesting questions. Quite honestly, I don’t know if the alleged victim is even in the state anymore.”

‘Never been heard’

Vaughn was asked about a reported $20 million settlement in a civil lawsuit stemming from the incident.

“My client (Johnson) had nothing to offer in that,” he said. “Still, some parts of the civil case are pending.”

Vaughn was asked if he believes the criminal case will move forward.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It kinda depends on what the state wants to do with it. I think as time goes by, it just gets more and more difficult for them to pull together the people they would need to put this up and try it. I don’t have any idea how cooperative or uncooperative (the alleged victim) is being with the state either. I don’t know if she’s being available to them, that sort of thing, or if she’s just — taking a line from the song — taken the money and run.”

Williams said it was his understanding there are other cases being heard during the status hearing. He was asked a question about statutes of limitations.

“The statutory statute of limitations was met once Alison indicted the case,” he said. “But everybody has a constitutional right to a fast and speedy trial, and if you can show that if it’s too long and that you’re prejudiced, then the court would have the authority to dismiss it. But I’m not going to say we’re at that point. You’re just asking a general principle of law, and that’s the situation.”

Williams agreed with Vaughn there are still motions seeking to quash the indictments.

“(They have) been pending for a little over three years (and) have never been heard,” he said.

George Weaver, a Jasper attorney representing Chapman, did not return a call to the newspaper.

Charges

The criminal charges filed against three former Calhoun High School students for an alleged post-prom party sexual assault are:

• Fields Chapman: Four counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery, a count of sodomy and a count of public indecency. In a separate indictment, he is charged with 28 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

• Andrew Haynes: Four counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery and one count of public indecency.

• Avery Johnson: One count of sodomy, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of aggravated battery, two counts of sexual battery and three counts of public indecency.

Source: Gilmer County Superior Court

https://www.dailycitizen.news/news/loca ... NJNmZPkW4s

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Prinnie
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Re: Calhoun Case

Post by Prinnie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:27 pm


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