Murray County student accused of sexual assault

Murray County student accused of sexual assault

March 23rd, 2011 by Joy Lukachick Smith in News

Shawn Fry, 18-year-old, is charged with aggravated sodomy in Murray County.

A Murray County High School student will be in court today on charges that he forced a younger student to allow him to perform sexual acts in the boy's bathroom at the Chatsworth, Ga., school earlier this month.

Police charged 18-year-old Shawn Fry with aggravated sodomy after a 16-year-old male student complained to a teacher on March 9, authorities said.

Fry was arrested the next day and has remained in jail for the last two weeks, Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Kermit McManus said.

He originally was denied bond in magistrate court because a magistrate can't issue bond for a charge with a sentencing range that goes up to life in prison, McManus said. Prosecutors and attorneys from the public defender's office representing Fry will discuss bond at today's hearing in Whitfield County Superior Court.

The public defender's office didn't return messages seeking comment.

Chatsworth police made the arrest, but department officials didn't return calls seeking comment.

The incident allegedly happened about 2 p.m. in the boy's bathroom, Murray County school system spokesman Dean Donehoo said.

Fry is accused of forcing the 16-year-old to allow Fry to perform oral sex, an arrest affidavit said.

When students are between classes, teachers are assigned to monitor different locations throughout the building, and a teacher is assigned to each bathroom, Donehoo said. But officials aren't sure if the incident could have occurred when classes were in session, he said.

If Fry is indicted on the charge, prosecutors must prove that the sexual act was forced and against the victim's will, McManus said.

"Those are two separate things that must be proven," he said.

Meanwhile, the school system must have a hearing with Fry before it decides on any punishment, which could include expulsion, Donehoo said.