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Former Berry student pleads guilty to sexual battery charges

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As word about a sexual assault in a Berry College dormitory was spread around campus in spring 2016, another female student, who had yet to come forward, came to the realization that she wasn’t Anu Tafari Campbell’s only victim.

“The thought of this happening to me and someone else I knew just a few weeks apart by the same person also never crossed my mind,” the Berry College student said in a statement read in Floyd County Superior Court Wednesday.

According to information presented in court:

Campbell was someone both of the women knew — or thought they knew. On April 24, 2016, Campbell, then a 19-year-old Berry student from Lawrenceville, was arrested at Dana Hall following an investigation by the college’s police department, conducted by Maj. Jonathan Baggett and Sgt. Lee Carter.

Berry police submitted a sexual assault kit to the GBI, after meeting the woman at the hospital and having her go to the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia. The duo questioned Campbell the same day, leading to them moving forward with his arrest.  

Upon hearing of this, another woman disclosed that prior to this incident she, too, had been sexually assaulted by Campbell in her dorm room.

“For a long time, I felt like I was the one to blame for what happened to (the other victim), but I wasn’t,” the woman said in a statement. “It was Anu’s choice, he chose to do what he did. He chose to change his and both of our lives forever.” 

On Wednesday, Campbell pled guilty to two felony counts of aggravated sexual battery and two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. His sentencing is scheduled for March 2 at 10 a.m.

Judge Jack Niedrach permitted Campbell to remain out on bond until the sentencing — the prosecution objected to this, wanting him to be jailed following the plea. Campbell’s defense attorney, Bernard Brody, submitted a stack of character references on his client for the judge to review before sentencing.

One of the women, who had her private parts touched by Campbell while she slept, got up and spoke in court, sharing her experience of feeling betrayed by Campbell.

“I considered Anu a friend and trusted him as such only to have him turn around and misuse that trust to violate me in the most intimate way possible,” she said. 

“It is important to promote accountability and provide reassurance to other victims that silence is not their only option, and that there is a system in place that will protect them,” she continued.

District Attorney Leigh Patterson said in cases like this, earlier victims are driven to come forward after hearing of an incident following another person after them.

“These two young ladies were brave to come forward and tell about their experiences,” Patterson said.