Standout GSU player arrested on rape charges

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:

Tony Kimbro

ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has confirmed a standout Georgia State University basketball player is facing rape charges.

He's the fourth GSU athlete to see the inside of the Fulton County Jail within the last two weeks.

Investigative reporter Aaron Diamant was at a jailhouse courtroom Friday expecting to see Tony Kimbro appear before a judge, but he waived his first appearance.

"I'm shocked," said sophomore Ashley Watson. "I didn't even know, maybe because finals were going on, but that's insane."

University police said the alleged attack against an acquaintance happened March 15 at the University Lofts on Edgewood Avenue in Downtown Atlanta.

"Any time you have a rape allegation, or a rape occurs on campus, we are concerned," said GSU Police Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis. "The fact that it was an athlete or not an athlete doesn't factor in for us."

Mullis said the department's investigation began immediately.

"There just wasn't enough evidence to substantiate the charge of rape in our opinion," Mullis said.

Mullis told Diamant the district attorney agreed.

Diamant confirmed that's when the alleged victim applied for a warrant on her own. A judge signed it this week and Fulton County Marshals arrested Kimbro on Thursday.

"That's all part of the criminal justice system," Mullis said. "She was within her right to do that, and she did it."

Mullis wouldn't say what he felt the police case lacked.

"We don't want to tag someone with a rape charge if there's not the evidence to back it up," Mullis said.

Kimbro's arrest comes just one year after receiving the university's final basketball scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year.


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"I can speak for the whole school, not just myself. It does aggravate us," said student Matthew Young.

Two weeks ago, three GSU football players were arrested for fighting and disorderly conduct, including junior quarterback Bo Schlechter.

"We're all disappointed in them, and they should rally to represent our school better," said graduate student Emily Manne-Nicholas.

Kimbro has been suspended from the school and the team.

University leaders won't discuss Kimbro's arrest. However, a statement from Athletic Director Cheryl Levick said, "We have very high standards for our over 350 student-athletes, and we are constantly educating them on their responsibilities as representatives of Georgia State University. Whenever an alleged incident does occur, we strictly follow University protocol in handling appropriate disciplinary action for the individual involved."

Kimbro is scheduled to appear in Fulton County Superior Court later this month.


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