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Four Austin Peay Athletes Charged

April 13, 2000

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Four Austin Peay State University athletes have been charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a teen-age woman that was apparently videotaped and shown to other students.

The athletes were not charged with rape. The woman says she doesn’t remember having sex with the men, but says a friend told her about the videotape and she later found a condom wrapper in her jeans pocket.

Charged were three basketball players _ Brian Maurice Howard, 19, of Troy, Mich.; Curtis Harris, 21, of Columbus, Ga.; and James Ray Stewart, 21, of Nashville _ and Michael Farrell, 20, of Nashville, a wide receiver on the football team.

Farrell voluntarily surrendered to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday after learning he had been indicted on two felony counts.

The basketball players were charged with misdemeanors on Tuesday. Howard and Harris were charged with buying or giving alcohol to a minor, while Stewart was charged with unlawful photography in violation of privacy. Each was released on $250 bond.

Farrell was charged with taping the incident and showing it to others, and tampering with evidence for allegedly destroying the videotape. Those felonies carry a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison, if convicted.

Farrell was released on $2,000 bail.

The father of the 17-year-old girl contacted authorities in February to report that his daughter may have been raped at Meacham Apartments on campus.

According to a police report, the woman said she was visiting a friend at the complex on Feb. 20 and drank alcohol. She then went to Harris’ apartment, where the men apparently had sex with her and videotaped it.

Two days later, the young woman heard from a friend that a videotape of her having sex with the men was being shown around campus.

According to district attorney John Carney, when the athletes learned that police were investigating the alleged assault, Farrell destroyed the videotape.

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