by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - A former Johns Creek High School golf star will spend 10 years in prison after accepting a plea deal in a rape case.
In April 2013, Johns Creek police told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik a 15-year-old girl and three friends went to an underage drinking party inside the upscale Country Club of the South neighborhood.
Police said Ben Holm, then 18 and a senior at Johns Creek High School, provided vodka to the teen and then walked her to a nearby playground.
“After a few minutes her three friends became alarmed and went out to find her,” said Capt. Chris Byers.
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Byers said that’s when they found Holm on top of the drunk teen.
“Her pants were down and they observed the sexual assault taking place and heard her clearly saying ‘no, stop,’” he said.
Byers said the girl’s parents took her to the hospital because she was extremely intoxicated, and during an examination the doctor found evidence of a sexual assault.
A police report Petchenik obtained said Holm texted the teen that they had intercourse.
Police would later charge Holm, just days away from his high school graduation, with rape and statutory rape.
The case was initially charged in misdemeanor court, but a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, said prosecutors later decided to upgrade the charges to felony and the case was transferred to Superior Court.
During that time, Holm left the state and moved to Chicago to play golf for the University of Loyola.
A spokesman for the school didn’t return calls and emails asking whether the school was aware of the charges.
Last week, in the middle of a trial, Holm pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault and received a 20 year sentence, with 10 years to serve in prison, plus an additional 12 months to serve for statutory rape, Carter told Petchenik.
A former next door neighbor told Petchenik she doesn’t believe Holm would have committed such a crime.
“Just a great kid all around,” she said of Holm. “Super, super nice. High standards. High morals.”
She said she believes prosecutors have wrongly ruined Holm’s life.
“There’s a lot worse things going in the world to be prosecuted, and this shouldn’t be,” she said.
Police told Petchenik the sentence should send a strong message to teens.
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