Hinesville’s city manager is one of seven people facing various sex crimes charges after a months-long investigation into illegal conduct at Fort Valley State University.
Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke says, “It was a multi-month long investigation and there was sufficient evidence for the judge to issue warrants.”
Cooke announced Friday that six men are charged with pandering and solicitation of sodomy stemming from incidents in 2017 and 2018.
In addition to Howard, the others were identified as Ernest Harvey, 47, Ryan Jenkins, 35, Charles Jones, 57, of Fort Valley; Devontae Little, 26, of Warner Robbins; and Arthur James Nance Jr., 46, of Cordele.
Cooke emphasized the charges are based on allegations and all parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Coastal Courier reports Howard intends to plead not guilty to the charges.
Alecia Johnson, former executive assistant to the president at Fort Valley State University, also faces six counts of pimping on allegations she provided a prostitute to the six men and six counts of prostitution on allegations she performed sexual acts for money and other items.
She is also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fiduciary theft on allegations she conspired to take a student’s scholarship money in Oct. 2015.
Johnson is a graduate member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and that posts online pointed to a sex scandal involving undergraduate members of the organization, a WXIA investigation found.
According to AKA’s regional office, an investigation by the sorority was “not able to substantiate allegations of unauthorized activities or misconduct” by the chapter at FVSU.
One of the men charged with soliciting sex was the Director of Corporate and Government Affairs at Fort Valley, Charles Jones.
Jones is no longer with the institution but his bio, that has since been removed from the website, said he also previously served as FVSU’s Director of the Public Service Center, Chief Legal Officer and Director of Government Relations. He’d been with the school since 2011.
FVSU Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications, Cedric Mobley, says they hired a new police chief and added additional resources to improve campus safety.
“There’s a new campus-wide task force on sexual assault and misconduct. There is new training, not only for faculty and stuff but for students. Finally, we have several new Title IX investigators to make sure any allegations are handled swiftly,” Mobley said.
These allegations are based on an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation which began on April 12 this year.
Mobley says, “FVSU in this instance we take the trust of our students extremely seriously and we’ve made a point to aggressively and assertively make sure that we’ve shared any information possible to make sure justice will be done.”