Fort Valley State prostitution case suspects turn themselves in to face charges

Six of the seven suspects in the ongoing criminal investigation that involved two former Fort Valley State University officials turned in themselves on prostitution charges, authorities said Tuesday.

Arrest warrants obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show the criminal activity began in October 2015, when former university official Alecia Johnson and another woman allegedly took scholarship money that was awarded to a student.

Johnson took the woman to several locations in Peach County, where the university is located, to meet several men for prostitution, according to the arrest warrants.

The men, who were each charged with pandering and solicitation of sodomy are:

  • Ernest Harvey, 47, of Fort Valley an assistant principal in charge of discipline at Huntington Middle School in Houston County.
  • Kenneth Howard, 56, of Fort Valley, the city manager of Hinesville.
  • Ryan Jenkins, 35, of Fort Valley.
  • Charles Jones, 57, of Fort Valley, a former attorney for Fort Valley State.
  • Devontae Little, 26, of Warner Robins.
  • Arthur James Nance Jr., 46, of Cordele, the vice chairman of the Crisp County Board of Commissioners and a local pastor and mortician.

All of the men, except Harvey, have turned themselves in, Peach County Sheriff’s Office officials said. Sheriff Terry Deese said he expects Harvey to turn himself in later Tuesday. Johnson turned herself in late Monday, records show.

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The alleged prostitution began in April 2017 and took place for nearly a year until university officials said they received two reports of alleged wrongdoing and shared the information with University System of Georgia. The GBI began a criminal investigation alongside the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and at the request of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.