LAWRENCEVILLE -- As deputies led a tearful Jarvis Wiley back to his holding cell Thursday afternoon, Wiley's family reacted with tears and disbelief.
"That description, that ain't Jarvis," one man said. "That ain't Jarvis."
But Magistrate Mark Layng, during a preliminary hearing, ruled there is sufficient evidence to send rape charges against Wiley to Superior Court.
Wiley is accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman on Nov. 20 inside a Mall of Georgia storage room. Both Jarvis and the alleged victim work at mall kiosks and knew each other, at least in passing, a detective said.
According to prosecutors, sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Wiley, 20, lured the woman into a storage room rented out by Hickory Farms, which employed Wiley, by asking her for help with some boxes.
Gwinnett police investigator Daniel Appleby said both parties agreed to go to the room voluntarily and that their timeline of events are identical, but that the question is one of consent.
"She said he used force, but not violent force," Appleby testified.
According to Appleby, Wiley admitted to having sex with the woman but said it was consensual and that the two, who worked at separate kiosks, had a flirtatious relationship. The woman, Appleby said, did not deny that they spoke on occasion.
The storage room, located behind a food court, is off-limits to everyone except mall employees and does not have working surveillance equipment, Appleby said.
Appleby said that a nurse who administered a sexual assault examination to the woman noted a contusion that is "indicative of forced sexual contact," but that consensual sex between the two could not be ruled out.
Appleby testified that while witnesses he interviewed could not corroborate a relationship between Wiley and the woman, investigators are looking at video that may show the two hanging out together near the movie theater.
This evidence, he said, could potentially point to Wiley's innocence.
"There is some exculpatory evidence we are exploring," Appleby said.
As a magistrate, Layng lacks the legal authority to grant bond in a rape case. Wiley will remain held without bond until a hearing can be scheduled in Superior Court, Layng said.
Wiley's family has retained Atlanta defense attorney Kenneth Sheppard.