Student charged with rape
Police: Brookwood junior molested girl under 14

LILBURN - Police have charged a 17-year-old Brookwood High School student and football player with rape and child molestation, alleging he forced a young girl into sexual acts on Feb. 17.

John Luke Walker - a backup wide receiver and defensive back on the school's venerable football team - remained Thursday at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

In addition to rape and child molestation, Walker is charged with lying to investigators in written and oral statements he provided last month.

Sometime between 1 and 4 a.m. on Feb. 17, Walker forced a girl to have sex with him at a Fawnbrook Court home in Lilburn, according to his arrest warrant. The nature of Walker's relationship with the alleged victim was unclear Thursday.

Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said the girl in question is under age 14. Sheriff's deputies arrested Walker on outstanding warrants Wednesday, Bourbonnais said.

Gwinnett police are handling the investigation. The department's spokeswoman, Cpl. Illana Spellman, was unable to provide a police report detailing the alleged incident late Thursday.

Walker, a Lilburn resident, is enrolled as a junior at Brookwood, a public schools spokesperson said.

Walker's family deferred questions to the teen's Atlanta-based attorney, B.J. Bernstein.

Bernstein planned to request a bond hearing for her client this morning. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Friday, she said.

"I haven't had a chance to see him," Bernstein said. "It's just so early that I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about it."

Brookwood head football coach Mark Crews said the teen made both the offensive and defensive squads last year but didn't play much.

"He was a middle-of-the-road kind of player, not a star," Crews said. "I don't know what kind of situation he's gotten himself into."

Most Brookwood kids don't see much gridiron action until their senior years, Crews said. The perennial football powerhouse finished 9-3 last year, advancing to the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

During Walker's stint with the team, the coach said he steered clear of trouble and hustled for respect.

"He was a member of our team - a good guy and hard-working kid," Crews said. "I don't know the situation or the allegation. I know it's pretty serious."