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 firstname.lastname@example.org.