Indictments handed down

Fields Chapman, Andrew Haynes, Avery Johnson

Three former Calhoun High School students have been indicted by a grand jury in Gilmer County following their arrests stemming from an alleged sexual assault at an after prom party on May 11.

According to authorities, Damon Avery Johnson, Fields Chapman and Andrew Haynes were each indicted on felony charges of aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery.

Chapman and Haynes were each charged with a count of sodomy and Chapman was charged with 28 counts of sexual exploitation of children, allegedly stemming from cellphone photos from the night.

"These indictments show that the Grand Jury has determined that probable cause exists from the evidence presented that the Defendants may now stand trail for the offenses contained with each of the Indictments," said Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney Alison Sosebee.

The defendants, all 18, face charges of aggravated sexual battery and underage consumption of alcohol. All made their $51,000 bonds shortly after their May 28 arrests.

Grand juries determine if enough evidence exists to indict, which would then send a case to an arraignment and possibly to trial.

Authorities allege Haynes, Chapman and Johnson were directly involved in the sexual battery, and that a foreign object was used on the victim. Copeland said he anticipates no others will face a felony charge in connection with the assault.

Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson has called the victim’s injuries “substantial.” She was hospitalized for several hours the following day.

Copeland said no other attendee at the prom party will face misdemeanor alcohol charges at this time.

“A good portion of those people are acting as witnesses,” he said.

Everyone at the party was younger than 21, Nicholson has said.

Staff writer Alan Riquelmy contributed to this report.