ATHENS, Ga. — Three former Athens high school students have been cleared of rape charges but each still faces a misdemeanor child molestation charge after a 15-year-old girl says she was assaulted last year in a school stairwell.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin said the suspects — Markell D. Brannon, Xavier M. Clarke and a then-17-year-old juvenile — were cleared of rape after a grand jury determined there wasn’t enough evidence for them to stand trial. Brannon and Clarke were 18 years old at the time of the alleged incident. All were students at Cedar Shoals High School as was the victim.

The suspects were also cleared of false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit rape, criminal attempt to commit aggravated sodomy, influencing a witness and tampering with evidence.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com