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Dacula teenager indicted in 2006 rape

LAWRENCEVILLE - Indictments were handed down April 2 against a Dacula teen accused of raping a former acquaintance in 2006.

In January, a 15-year-old girl told police that Brandon Pate, 17, forced her at knife point to have sex with him at her Dacula home when she was 13. The alleged victim said Pate threatened to slit her father's throat if she didn't "give it up," a Gwinnett police detective testified during January's probable cause hearing.

Pate was indicted on charges of rape, statutory rape, child molestation, aggravated assault, burglary, possessing a knife during the commission of a felony, terroristic threats and cruelty to children.

Prosecutors also allege that Pate allowed another minor - a female friend of the victim - to witness the assault.

Police said the friend "sort of turned her back" during the rape and that both girls were scared to come forward previously.

Pate's defense attorney, Wesley Person, believes the circumstances surrounding the accusations are suspicious.

The incident was reported after the alleged victim was caught selling marijuana at Mill Creek High School, where she is a student, and her father threatened to have her screened for drugs and sexual activity.

Person argued that the story was a cover-up for the girl's past promiscuity.

While his client faces a slew of charges, Person said that because a person is indicted doesn't mean he is guilty.

"Mr. Pate is innocent," Person said. "He stands accused of these crimes but not convicted. We are preparing to vigorously fight these charges."

Pate remains at the Gwinnett County Jail, where he has been held without bond since January.

"It's tough. It's the kind of case that keeps you up at night," Person said.

Person said he expects his client to be arraigned sometime in June.