Ex-university employee wants recordings, evidence in pimping & prostitution case

Ex-university employee wants recordings, evidence in pimping & prostitution case

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — A former Fort Valley State University employee wants to know more about evidence against her in a pimping and prostitution case that led to charges against several high-profile men in Central and South Georgia counties.

Alecia Johnson appeared in a Peach County Superior Court Wednesday. She waived arraignment amid a motion for more evidence, while two others indicted in the case entered not guilty pleas.

[READ: Seven indicted in Fort Valley State prostitution case]

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Johnson is the former executive assistant to the Fort Valley State president, and a former campus sorority chapter adviser. She resigned from her position amid a GBI investigation that was launched over a year ago.

Johnson is accused of being the ringleader of a prostitution ring that prompted state investigators to search her campus office and home. Six men -- including the former FVSU attorney, a city manager and county commissioner -- are among the co-defendants charged with soliciting sodomy from Johnson and an undetermined number of prostitutes.

In a motion filed on May 13, Johnson’s Snellville attorney requested more evidence, including video and audio recordings, from law enforcement and prosecutors. The request is centered around others indicted in the case, and a woman named Ashlei Cason. Online records show Cason attended and worked at the university at some point.

In the indictment, Cason is accused of being a prostitute provided to the men. She’s also been accused of conspiring, alongside Johnson, to steal scholarship book money from a student. Cason has not been charged in the case, and Channel 2 has been unable to locate her.

“What we know is the person alleged to be a victim, she is not a victim at all,” said Adrian Patrick, Johnson’s attorney, referring to Cason outside of court.

“Our position is that she independently contacted these defendants (alleged clients) herself which would actually go to the root, the gravity of the whole case –,” Patrick continued.

"Which would put her in Ms. Johnson's position in the indictment?" asked Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr.

“Thank you,” Patrick replied, confirming his suggestion that Cason played a larger role in the case.

Patrick told Carr his client has not been able to offer more information about Cason. Johnson put sunglasses on in the hallway of the courthouse and declined to speak to Carr.

“No comment. I don’t have a comment,” Johnson said putting her hand up as she walked out of the courthouse.

At the time the investigation was launched, Johnson also identified herself online as a graduate adviser to the FVSU. According to university records, the sorority launched its own probe in an April 2018 letter explaining alleged misconduct/unauthorized activities among former and current members of the undergraduate chapter. They began working with criminal investigators to gather facts in the case and issued a chapter suspension that was lifted the same year.

A year later, in April 2019, the sorority issued a statement calling headlines on the case misleading, as Johnson had no direct supervisory role with the chapter since 2014.

“It is unfortunate that the alleged crimes of an individual acting independently of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority have resulted in misconceptions and diverted attention from the honorable work our organization delivers to millions of people through a myriad of programs,” the statement read, adding the indictment cleared the chapter of wrongdoing.

The sorority did not respond to questions to elaborate on its findings, and Patrick said on Wednesday that he had no information on that portion of the investigation.

Two co-defendants, Devontae Little and Ryan Jenkins, pleaded not guilty. When Carr caught up with Jenkins in the hallway following his plea, he told her he couldn’t talk about the case. Carr was unable to speak one-on-one with Little and his attorney as she caught up with Johnson and her legal team outside the courtroom.

Lawyers for Ernest Harvey, Arthur Nance, Charles Jones and Kenneth Harvey waived arraignment until next month.