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Rape suspect, 17, waives his probable cause hearing
Brookwood High student remains in Gwinnett jail

LAWRENCEVILLE - Today marks two weeks that John Luke Walker has been incarcerated at the Gwinnett County Jail. According to officials, the Brookwood High School student and football player will remain there for the foreseeable future.

Walker, 17, waived a Tuesday morning probable cause hearing in Gwinnett Magistrate Court. The Lilburn resident is accused of raping and molesting a 14-year-old girl after a party Feb. 17. He remained in jail without bond late Tuesday.

Walker's attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said waiving the probable cause hearing will not affect her client's chance for bond. She declined to say anything else about the case.

Bernstein has yet to file for a bond hearing in Gwinnett Superior Court, a District Attorney's Office representative said Monday.

In Gwinnett County, Superior Court judges determine if rape suspects are fit for bond, said Chief Magistrate Judge George Hutchinson.

How soon a defendant might be granted a bond hearing depends on the schedules of Superior Court judges, Hutchinson said. Defense attorneys can file a motion for a bond hearing at any time, he said.

Bernstein, the attorney, said her client has no prior convictions. She told a judge Friday that Walker already has spent an unreasonable amount of time behind bars.

Walker's probable cause hearing was initially scheduled for Friday, but a judge continued it this week after Assistant District Attorney Steven Fern asked that media be barred from the courtroom. Fern planned to enter the names of juvenile witnesses Friday, which he feared the media could leak to the public.

Walker is a backup wide-receiver and defensive back on Brookwood's football team. Investigators said he raped and molested the girl at a home on Fawnbrook Court in Lilburn, where police later found the girl unconscious.

Walker's attorney and his parents have downplayed those charges. Police have declined to discuss how the girl became unconscious or her relationship with Walker.

The teen was arrested at school March 5.

If convicted of rape, Walker would serve a minimum 25-year sentence and be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Meanwhile, a probable cause hearing for two Berkmar High School students and football players accused of rape is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Gwinnett Magistrate Court.

Police arrested Bobby Michael Harris, 17, and Shakie Gus Doe-Williams, 17, at the school last week on charges of rape, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation. They're accused of raping a 15-year-old girl at her home on March 4.