9 arrested in statutory rape investigation linked to JSU campus

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JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — According to investigators, nine suspects have been arrested in connection with a statutory rape investigation with links to the Jacksonville State University campus.

The investigation began after a complaint to the city of Jacksonville Police Department.

The 7th Judicial Circuit’s Major Crimes Unit is now handling the case. So far investigators have obtained warrants for second-degree rape and sodomy in the second degree.

“Rape second, a more common term is statutory rape so it has to do with the age of the victim and the age of the suspect,” said Jay Harrington, with the major crimes unit.

Harrington said two victims were discovered through the investigation. Due to the ongoing case and the ages of people involved, Harrington cannot release the names of the suspects.

Incidents were reported both on and off-campus.

“The investigation has led me to the campus of JSU and arrests have been made in the case, there have been 12 warrants issued yesterday. There have been 9 arrests made as of now,” said Harrington.

Incidents were reported by campus police on the university website once investigators learned of the complaint this month. Several residence halls are listed as locations, but Harrington wants to assure students and parents that campus is safe.

“There is no ongoing concern for safety of students right now. This is an isolated incident. There is no rapist going around Jacksonville State University whatsoever. Students are safe in this sense,” said Harrington.

The JSU Board of Trustees scheduled an emergency meeting this Saturday, according to public notice. Leaders are expected to get an update on the investigation.

An attorney for JSU told CBS 42 that the campus has and continues to be safe for students. Officials are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

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