Three Tennessee high school football players have been charged in the rape of a 12-year-old girl who became pregnant.
Princeton Harlan, 18, star quarterback at Mt. Pleasant High School in Maury County, was arrested on Wednesday morning. The names of the two other accused teens, ages 16 and 17, have not been released because they are juveniles, according to WKRN.
Detective Anthony Bailey told the station that the football players each had sex with the girl in separate incidents last summer. He added that he doesn't believe they forced her against her will to have intercourse. Because a 12-year-old cannot legally give consent, however, the teens can be convicted of child rape even if the sex was consensual.
The investigation began when the 12-year-old told her mother she was pregnant. The girl terminated the pregnancy at around four and a half weeks.
Harlan's involvement in the case has shocked community members.
"It's really devastating," Wendall Holder, a 1989 Mt. Pleasant graduate, told the Tennessean. “Princeton [Harlan] is being looked at by major colleges and it’s just a big deal here. He had a lot ahead of him."
The rape of a child is a class A felony in Tennessee, USA Today reports, and first-time offenders may face up to 25 years in prison.
Harlan was released from jail on Wednesday on $100,000 bail. His arraignment is set for November 5.
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