CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mistakenly said that the accused's father told the Times Free Press that his son was gone from the house when the rape allegedly happened. In fact, the father told the Times Free Press that he himself was not there. He was not talking about his son.
Northwest Whitfield High School coach arrested for not reporting alleged rape of studentRead more
The case against a high school boy accused of sexual assault in Whitfield County is still pending. But the boy's father said the allegations "could not be any further from the truth."
According to a news release and incident report from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, five high school students were at a home in the Pleasant Grove area of Dalton on July 1 when a girl accused a boy of raping her. A third person later told the sheriff's office that the boy trapped the girl in a bathroom, pushed her into a shower and assaulted her. The girl yelled out for help, she said, but nobody came.
The incident report does not state who gave this account to the sheriff's office, only saying the person reported to the Greenhouse Child Advocacy and Sexual Assault Center on Sept. 2. Four weeks later, according to a news release, the accuser's family also reported the alleged rape.
The night of the incident, one person told an investigator, the accuser "walked out of the bathroom and confronted" the alleged offender's father.
"[The accuser] was told by [name redacted] not to say she was raped," an investigator wrote.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the boy's father said that information does not line up with what he knows. He says the girl couldn't have confronted him after the alleged attack because he was gone from the house from about 8 p.m. to midnight, when the girl was there.
"I am really big on principle, and I'm really big on morals," the boy's father said. "If [my son] did this, he deserves what would come his way. But that's not how it's happening. ... Futures are getting ruined."
On Friday, the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office charged two adults in connection with the case. Ashley Lynn Turner, 33, faces a charge of furnishing alcohol to minors. Lamar Cofield, 34, faces a charge of failure to report suspected child abuse.
As a paraprofessional and coach at Northwest Whitfield High School, Cofield is required to report such allegations. In a news release, Sheriff Scott Chitwood said the accuser told Cofield and Turner she had been assaulted the night of the party. Eric Beavers, a spokesman for Whitfield County Schools, said Cofield resigned last week.
The alleged offender's father said agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation showed up at Northwest Whitfield and Coahulla Creek high schools to interview the students who had been at the house that night. They searched their phones, the father said.
He added that the facts of the case will exonerate his son, unless there are some details he doesn't know about.
Said Greg Ramey, special agent in charge of the GBI office looking into the case: "We've done the investigation, and it's being reviewed. I don't know how that case is going to proceed or what charges there will be, if any."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.