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Former Berry student Anu Campbell gets ten years for on-campus sexual assaults

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Anu Tafari Campbell

Anu Tafari Campbell

"I don't know if I can adequately express how sorry I am to all involved," said Floyd Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach prior to imposing sentence. "I will note, Mr. Campbell, that this sentence could have been exponentially worse."

Plea negotiations prior to sentencing Friday involved a decision by District Attorney Leigh Patterson and Assistant D.A. Emily Johnson agreeing to deviate from the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

"The college experience and life of these two young ladies was changed forever," Patterson said after Campbell was led from the courtroom.

Larry Nolting, director of the Georgia Recovery Centers in Marietta, testified during the sentencing hearing that since Campbell was granted bond and placed under house arrest, he had undergone more than 400 hours of counseling and attended more than 300 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Campbell told Judge Niedrach that the very first drink he had ever taken came at the end of his first week at Berry.

"I thought drinking and partying on campus would help me fit in," Campbell said. He said that his attendance at AA meetings had taught him that he was "powerless over alcohol."

Campbell's attorney Bernard Brody said Campbell has been enrolled at Gwinnett Tech and was maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

"He did accept responsibility right away," Brody told the judge. "Prison would clearly disrupt the path he's on right now." Brody said being put on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life was punishment enough.

Campbell addressed the court and one of the two victims who was in court and said, "I am deeply sorry for the pain and discomfort I've caused you and your families."

A.D.A. Johnson read statements from both of the victims. One girl said, "Not a day goes by that I don't think of that night...the truth is I'm still not over it." The second victim wrote, “I truly believe there would have been other victims." That same young woman also penned, "I do believe he's capable of change."

"To not give him significant prison time sends the wrong message," Johnson told Niedrach.