Gwinnett wrestler, teammates accused of sex assault

Dallas Brown

Dallas Brown

ROME -- Four teen wrestlers, including a Gwinnett all-county selection from Mountain View High School, could spend months in jail near Rome on charges they held down, roughed up and tried to sexually assault a younger teammate during a wrestling camp last week.

A Floyd County magistrate judge sent charges against the suspects -- Mountain View senior Dallas Brown and three fellow campers from Valdosta, all 17 years old -- to Superior Court on Monday and did not set a bond.

A representative at the jail said Wednesday the system is backlogged, and that it could take months before a bond hearing for the teens is heard in the higher court. They are being held in adult units for the time being, the jail representative said.

The four are charged with aggravated sexual battery, a felony. All face an additional misdemeanor count of simple battery.

The arrests have jeopardized the teens' chances to compete at a national competition this weekend watched closely by college recruiters.

The incident happened Friday night at a Shorter University dormitory. A youth coach at the wrestling camp demanded the four boys leave a dorm they weren't staying in after they were being loud. "He thought the boys were playing," a Rome police officer wrote in a report.

The coach overheard talk the following day about what had transpired, quizzed the alleged victim and perpetrators, then called campus security who notified Rome police, the report states.

The alleged victim, a male camper who is younger than the suspects, told his coach they were "playing around at first" until one suspect, Kenny Mason, held him down while the others hit him. Another group came in, the juvenile said, and two boys held him down, pulled his pants down and tried to sexually assault him with a toothbrush, the report states.

A detective responded, conducted interviews and found evidence to arrest the four teens.

Mountain View's Brown had a 39-3 record last year and finished second at the Class AAAAA state tournament at 119 pounds, the first state placer in school history.

Mason and the other two suspects -- brothers Darshawn and Marshawn Sharp -- wrestle for Valdosta. Finishing 52-1, Marshawn Sharp won the Class AAAAA state championship at 112 pounds this year.

Brown, of Lawrenceville, attended Lowndes High School in Valdosta as a freshman. His coach in Gwinnett, Jim Gassman, declined comment Wednesday, citing the public school system's rules.

The teens were in Rome practicing with Team Georgia, a summer wrestling team, to prepare for a national competition in Fargo, N.D., that begins Saturday.