PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. - The attorney representing one of six teens charged in a witness-intimidation case said her client did not confess to harassing sexual battery victims, despite police statements.
“He has not admitted any guilt, and there is no evidence to support his guilt,” Sherri Jefferson told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr.
Jefferson represents Ahmad Ragland, an 18-year-old McIntosh High School senior.
Ragland is a student-athlete charged along with four other McIntosh High School football players, and another Newnan teen. They are accused of vandalizing the homes of two other students who accused former McIntosh baseball coach David Munoz of sexual battery.
The teens are not coached by Munoz, who was charged with sexual battery last month. They are all 18.
Last week, Peachtree City police told Channel 2 Action News the teens all confessed to the vandalism. Jefferson offers a different story on behalf of Ragland.
Prior to the arrests, she said Ragland was called into the assistant principal’s office without an attorney or parents present. She said a detective was there.
“They were given information about allegations that were made against the coach, at which time the detective allegedly said to the client that, ‘You need to know that in fact the coach is guilty and that there’s a lot of evidence against him, and you do not need to be protecting someone like him,’” Jefferson said.
“My client stood steadfast that he had never had any interactions with the coach,” she continued. “That the coach had never engaged in any inappropriate behaviors or touching, despite what the detective was attempting to secure from him in terms of information.”
Days later, Jefferson said Ragland was summoned to the jail with the others and there were no pending arrest warrants when they arrived.
She said all Ragland did was comply with adults who asked to meet with him. She said the questioning regarding off-campus allegations should not have taken place at the school.
“At the end of the day, these are still high school children, and that is the word we often miss when we are quick to want to prosecute,” Jefferson said.
On Thursday, the Peachtree City Police Department told Carr they had no reason to address the allegations regarding lack of confessions or where the interviews took place.
Jefferson said she’s worked as a sex trafficking victim advocate and would never represent Ragland if she believed he’d harassed the accusers. She said due process will unravel the truth, but damage has already been done to those involved, as their mugshots appeared on the news.
“You’re able to look at this young man within weeks before he engages in commencement, of graduating from high school, without any prior interactions with the court system," Jefferson said. “That in and of itself should speak to the pain that (the family) would be experiencing at this point.”
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