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Draft Scout A.J. Johnson News
03/09/15 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and suspended Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams have pleaded not guilty to aggravated rape charges. Johnson and Williams were arraigned Monday after being indicted last month by a grand jury. Trial was set for Aug. 24. Johnson and Williams were suspended from Tennessee's football team in November, one day before Knoxville police named both as subjects of a rape investigation. Johnson has since graduated and completed his eligibility. Lawyers for both players have said their clients are innocent of the charges.
"What I've said before, I'll say again," said David Eldridge, the lawyer representing Williams. "He's innocent of the charges and we will defend them in court." Tom Dillard, the lawyer representing Johnson, declined comment Monday aside from pointing out that his client had pleaded not guilty. When Johnson turned himself in last month, Dillard issued a statement saying Johnson "has fully cooperated throughout this investigation, has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and looks forward to being cleared of these accusations so that he can begin to put his life back together." Johnson and Williams are charged with raping a woman at a Knoxville apartment in November. The Associated Press does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse. - AP Sports
03/08/15 - Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and ex-teammate Michael Williams will appear in Knox County Criminal Court on Monday where both are expected to enter not guilty pleas in connection with a sexual assault on a UT student last November. Attorneys for each of the men have maintained that the two fully cooperated with the investigation, and did nothing wrong. The attorneys have said their clients are looking forward to putting their lives back together. During Monday's arraignment, Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bobby McGee will formally read the charges against the men, and then let them enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The arraignment isn't expected to take long.
Johnson, 23, and Williams, 21, turned themselves over to authorities last month after a grand jury indicted them each on two counts of aggravated rape. Johnson graduated from the university in December and was an NFL draft hopeful. He lost his invitation to the NFL combine after his indictment became public. Williams is enrolled at the university for the spring semester, but remains suspended indefinitely from the football team. - WBIR-TV
02/17/15 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson has turned himself in on a charge of aggravated rape. The Knox County Sheriff's Office issued a release saying Johnson had turned himself in Tuesday and was released on $40,000 bond. Suspended Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams also is charged with aggravated rape. Knoxville police had named both Johnson and Williams in November as subjects of a rape investigation. A grand jury heard the case last week. David Eldridge, the lawyer representing Williams, said Thursday his client was indicted and also had been released on $40,000 bond. "Mr. Johnson has fully cooperated throughout this investigation, has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and looks forward to being cleared of these accusations so that he can begin to put his life back together," said Tom Dillard, the lawyer representing Johnson.
Eldridge had issued a statement Thursday saying Williams was "innocent of these charges" and "is confident that when all the evidence is presented there, he will be exonerated." Johnson had been on the list of players invited to this week's NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL announced it had withdrawn that invitation Friday, one day after the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Johnson was being indicted. The police report released in November said that Knoxville police investigator Tim Riddle spoke to two 19-year-old women on Nov. 16 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at about 4:30 a.m. One woman said Johnson and Williams raped her at the apartment complex. A second woman said she was sexually assaulted by Williams at the same location. - AP Sports
02/17/15 - Former Vols LB Johnson arrested on rape charge...Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson was booked on an aggravated rape charge after turning himself in on Tuesday. According to the Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Office, Johnson was released on $40,000 bond about 30 minutes after he arrived at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in Knoxville, Tenn. Johnson, 23, and Tennessee cornerback Michael Williams, 21, were listed as suspects by authorities in a Nov. 16 alleged rape of a 19-year-old female student-athlete in Johnson's apartment after a game. Williams also is a suspect in a sexual assault of a second woman who has chosen not to pursue the case.
Williams was indicted Thursday on two charges of aggravated rape and also named as aiding and abetting in two counts of aggravated rape. He was released on $40,000 bond last Thursday. The two players, who were suspended from the team in December, say they are innocent. Johnson graduated in December and was to participate in the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, but the league withdrew the invitation after the charges came to light. Johnson was a four-year starter for the Vols and finished his career with 425 tackles, the second-highest total at the school since 1970. - The Sports Xchange
02/16/15 - NFL pulls A.J. Johnson's combine invite...The NFL has rescinded an invitation to former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson to attend next week's scouting combine after Johnson was indicted on rape charges. The Tennessean first reported the revocation on Friday, and the NFL confirmed it. Johnson, accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in November, was indicted on two counts of rape Thursday by a grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn. Johnson, Tennessee's leading tackler in 2014, was suspended by coach Butch Jones after Johnson and former teammate Michael Williams were accused of the sexual assault. Williams also was indicted Thursday. The combine begins Tuesday in Indianapolis and runs through Feb. 23. Johnson is the No. 16-rated inside linebacker in this year's class by NFLDraftScout.com. He is projected as a seventh-round pick or priority free agent. - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange