7 arrest warrants issued in Georgia university sex investigation

7 arrest warrants issued in Georgia university sex investigation

Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Ga., is a historically black school founded in 1895 as Fort Valley High and Industrial School. The state acquired the school in 1939 and Fort Valley State College was born. (Photo: AJC.com)

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Prosecutors announced Friday they've issued seven arrests warrants, including for a former Fort Valley State University official, for prostitution and sodomy that allegedly began a year ago.

Warrants were issued Tuesday for Ernest Harvey, 47; Kenneth Howard, 56; Ryan Jenkins, 35; Charles Jones, 57, of Fort Valley; Devontae Little, 26, of Warner Robins; and Arthur James Nance Jr., 46, of Cordele, each are charged with pandering and solicitation of sodomy stemming from conduct alleged to have occurred in 2017 and 2018.

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Former Fort Valley State University executive assistant to the president Alecia Jeanetta Johnson, 48, of Fort Valley, is charged with six counts of pimping on allegations she arranged to provide a prostitute to the six men.

Johnson also is charged with six counts of prostitution on allegations she performed, offered or consented to perform a sexual act for money or other items of value, prosecutors said. Johnson additionally is charged with conspiracy to commit fiduciary theft stemming from allegations she conspired to take scholarship money, a book scholarship, that had been granted to a student in October 2015, prosecutors said.

The investigation was conducted by the GBI, with assistance from the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office and at the request of the Georgia Attorney General's Office. Officials announced in April they were investigating sexual misconduct and hazing at Fort Valley, about 30 miles south of Macon.

Adrian Patrick, the attorney representing Johnson, told the AJC at the time that she has not done anything illegal.

Fort Valley State released a two-paragraph statement Friday afternoon saying its first priority is the safety of its students. Jones was the university’s chief legal counsel until he was fired a few months ago, university officials said.

“We have consistently and aggressively worked with the University System of Georgia and law enforcement to ensure that anyone who allegedly puts our students at risk is investigated thoroughly and expeditiously, and have advocated for the most appropriate standards to be applied. While we cannot comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, we expect anyone who has compromised the trust of our students to be held accountable with all deliberate speed,” it said.

Additionally, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was conducting its own inquiry into "unauthorized activities and misconduct involving current and former members," according to a letter it sent to the Fort Valley State sorority chapter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received a copy of the letter in April from the university through the Georgia Open Records Act. Johnson was a graduate advisor for the sorority's chapter.