Feb. 7, 2006 "” A wild New Year's Eve two years ago has landed a Georgia teen in prison for 10 years on charges of child molestation in a case that has state legislators reworking the strict law that put him behind bars.
Genarlow Wilson and a group of friends had the kind of bash no parent would want their teenager to attend. Crime scene investigators combing the room in a Days Inn in the small town of Douglasville, Ga., found evidence of drinking, as well as condoms and wrappers littered all over. Plus, there was a video camera.
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In a portion of a tape obtained by "Primetime," Wilson, then 17 and an honor student and star athlete who was homecoming king, is seen having intercourse with a 17-year-old girl, who was seen earlier on the bathroom floor. During the sex act, she appears to be sleepy or intoxicated but never asks Wilson to stop. Later on in the tape, she is seen being pulled off the bed.
Other portions of the tape show a second girl, who was 15 and later said she did not drink that night. She was recorded having oral sex with several boys in succession, including Wilson.
The following morning, Wilson got a phone call that would change his life. He learned from a friend that the 17-year-old had gone to the police to report that she'd been raped.
"I was, like, 'What? When was this happening? Did this happen at the same party I was at?'" Wilson said. "It was shocking to me."
A Decade in Prison
Authorities believed the 17-year-old alleged rape victim and said she was too intoxicated to consent to any sexual acts, which is what Georgia law requires, otherwise these acts can be considered rape.
Six boys, including Wilson, were arrested on various charges, including rape. District Attorney David McDade said the videotape was critical to his case. "There is no doubt that without the videotape we would have to be relying on the statements of these young people, and that would have been a more difficult prosecution," he said.