Attorney for woman charged in Fort Valley State sex scandal: 'Who was the madam?'

Channel 2's Nicole Carr reports.

ATLANTA — An attorney defending the woman at the center of a Georgia university sex scandal is questioning whether the alleged prostitute named in the arrest warrants could have orchestrated a prostitution ring.

"Who's the madam? That's the question," Adrian Patrick told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr. "My client has no control over what an adult does. Anything  an adult did  was something an adult wanted to do or was already doing before my client."

Jeanetta Johnson, 48, and six men are facing charges related to prostitution, pimping and sodomy for incidents in 2017 and 2018. Johnson is also accused of plotting to steal scholarship money in 2015.

Content Continues Below

Last April, Carr began investigating the allegations and found Johnson was the executive assistant to the university president and adviser to the campus Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter. The sorority launched its own investigation, but results of it have not been revealed.

This week, the suspects turned themselves in and bonded out of the Peach County jail as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued arrest warrants for the group.

The warrants name one young woman as the prostitute provided to the men by Johnson and a co-conspirator in a 2015 attempted theft case of scholarship money.

“They got my client’s phone records, they went to her home, searched bank records and everything like that,” said Patrick. “We’re going to request the same thing be done to the accuser and any other potential accusers I don’t know.”

Channel 2 Action News is not naming the woman because she has not been charged with a crime. Attempts to contact her this week were not immediately successful.

Through a university publication and website, Carr found the woman was enrolled at Fort Valley State in recent years and served as an office assistant.

“Any of these adults or adult or whatever--what were they doing prior to  my client and without my client’s influence?” Patrick challenged. “Were they already doing things of this sort? Were they not? And then could they be truly classified as victims? Is that what they were doing? We’re going straight after that point.”

“What has she told you?" Carr asked Patrick.

“Who? My client?” Patrick asked.

“Right,” Carr answered.

“I can’t say that at this point,” Patrick laughed. “You know I can’t say that at this point. I’ll say this to you: We have an extremely strong defense in this case.”

THE SIX MEN

The six men charged for offenses tied to being provided a client by Johnson include prominent Fort Valley State supporters.

On Tuesday evening, the Hinesville City Council went into an executive session to discuss Kenneth Howard’s future. Howard, a 56-year-old FVSU alum,  serves as the city manager and will remain in his position while the case plays out.

“Mr. Howard’s long and exemplary record of  service to the city of Hinesville has earned him the trust and confidence of the mayor and council,” said Mayor Allen Brown. “The misdemeanor warrant recently issued against several prominent supporters of Fort Valley State University (does) not diminish this confidence."

Howard’s attorney did not return a call earlier in the week for comment.

Crisp County leaders also anticipated Authur “Arthur” James Nance Jr. would continue to serve as a vice chair of its commission. Nance is also a mortician and pastor in the Fort Valley area.

The Houston County School system never responded to a Channel 2 Action News inquiry about Ernest Harvey, 47, one of their middle school assistant principals.

Carr discovered Devontae Little, 26, is also facing a rape of a minor charge. Until the allegations surfaced in April, Little was employed by a state-contracted youth facility in Georgia.

The victim in that case was assigned to the facility by Division of Family and Children Services.

Little is known about 35-year-old Ryan Jenkins at this time.

Court hearings are pending in the case, and state investigators say they have not completed their probe.