by: Tom Jones Updated:
MERIWETHER COUNTY, Ga. - A former student accused of raping a classmate at school wants his indictment tossed out because of who was on the grand jury.
Former Greenville High School student Tava Reese, now 20, is accused of forcing a classmate into a closet at the school in 2010.
Meriwether County deputies said the student said Reese raped her before she was able to get away.
Reese told Channel 2's Tom Jones he is innocent and the brief sexual encounter was consensual.
"I didn't do it," he said. "Me and her both agreed on going into the room. Me and her were close friends. There's no reason to do that. I wouldn't want no one to do that to my family."
Reese was expelled from school and a jury indicted him. The connection between the expulsion and the indictment is why Reese's attorney wants the indictment tossed out.
"She should have never been on that grand jury," attorney Jackie Patterson said.
He said Meriwether County Schools Superintendent Carol Lane helped get Reese kicked out of school and was the foreperson on the grand jury that indicted him.
Patterson said there's no way Lane could be an impartial juror.
"If you've expelled him from school, you're clearly going to think that he's guilty of the offense," Patterson said.
Lane doesn't see it that way.
"No, no I have no vote," she said when discussing Reese's expulsion.
Lane said she was a part of the process in Reese's expulsion, but had no vote.
As for the grand jury: "There was no opportunity for me to influence anybody's vote," Reese said.
Lane said there were no questions or discussion by the jury on the case.
"If there would have been discussion I would have had to recuse myself and step out," she said.
Reese's mother, Jackie Reese, said, discussion or not, Lane shouldn't have been a part of any jury hearing her son's case.
"She knew every detail and she knew it wasn't fair for her to be on there," Jackie Reese said.
Patterson has filed a motion to have the indictment thrown out. That motion will be heard the same day the trial is expected to start.
Reese faces rape, kidnapping and false imprisonment charges.
Lane said this was her first grand jury and she had no idea the case would be on the docket.
She said if she is asked to serve again she will need assurances that none of her students are on the docket.
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