Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
Princeton Harlan was arrested on Wednesday morning. He has since been released on a $100,000 bond.
MT. PLEASANT, Tenn. -
The quarterback at Mt. Pleasant High School in Maury County has been arrested for the rape of a child.
Detective Anthony Bailey with the Maury County Sheriff's Department told Nashville's News 2 18-year-old Princeton Harlan was arrested at the school Wednesday morning.
Jackson said authorities began investigating Harlan and two other teens, a 16 year old and a 17-year-old, one month ago.
Investigators have not released the names of the two other teens because they are charged as juveniles.
Authorities said the sexual encounters involving a 12-year-old female victim at separate times around the beginning of July.
Detective Bailey did not describe the encounters as forcible, but because the victim is 12 she can not legally give consent to have sex.
Detective Bailey also did not comment on how the teens met the victim.
"The girl in this case went to her biological mother and told her she thought she was pregnant. That's what started us investigating the case," Detective Bailey said. "She was pregnant and had an abortion."
Investigators said the girl was about four-and-a-half weeks along when she terminated the pregnancy. She has cooperated with investigators.
The Sheriff's Department has not given any indication on who fathered the child.
A Maury County Grand Jury returned indictments against the three teens. Harlan was arrested without incident outside Mt. Pleasant High School. The other teens were issued juvenile petitions and released to the custody of their parents.
Harlan was booked into the Maury County jail on a $100,000 bond. He has since been released.
Near Mt. Pleasant High School news of the arrests shocked neighbors.
"That just absolutely breaks my heart," Morgan Lovett said. "There is just no other way to look at it."
She continued, "It's really hard to hear because everyone is kind of close and knows everyone so I feel really bad for the girl. I just pray for her and her family."
Dale Stafford is the father of two daughters and several granddaughters. He is also a Mt. Pleasant High School football fan.
"I am not going to pass judgment on anybody because I still believe he is innocent until proven guilty," he said. "That is the way it should be."
Maury County School officials did not comment on the arrest.
They also did not comment on Harlan and the other football players' status with the football team.