Six suspects in alleged Fort Valley prostitution turn selves in

Clockwise from top left, mugshots of Kenneth Howard, Charles E. Jones, Alecia Johnson, Ryan Jenkins, Arthur James Nance and Devonte Little. (Peach County Sheriff)

Clockwise from top left, mugshots of Kenneth Howard, Charles E. Jones, Alecia Johnson, Ryan Jenkins, Arthur James Nance and Devonte Little. (Peach County Sheriff)

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

Arrest warrants obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show 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, and a sex business operated later.

From April 2017 to about a year later, Johnson took the woman to several locations in Peach County, where the university is located, to meet 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 expected Harvey to turn himself in later Tuesday. Johnson, charged with pimping, turned herself in late Monday, records show. She was also charged with conspiracy to commit fiduciary theft in connection with the alleged scholarship theft.

Since the investigation went public in April, officials have been cautious about discussing the case.

The arrest warrants do not contain details about how Johnson and the woman accused of being a prostitute met, how they met the men or how much money was exchanged during the alleged encounters. Prosecutors declined Tuesday to share any information about the woman. Efforts to contact the woman, who may have been a Fort Valley State student, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

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