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May 5, 2003

Sylvester - A Worth County sheriff's deputy, three teenagers, and a Texas man are accused of having sexual relations with three underage girls. Now, the five face charges from child molestation to aggravated sexual battery.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is trying figure out just what happened in a room at the Days Inn in Sylvester on April 18th. "We know that five men and three girls performed various sexual acts," said Special Agent in Charge Mike Lewis.

The victims were all under 16 years old, making the acts illegal. One girl told her mother who went straight to authorities.

Worth County High School students Jermaine Williams and Kentonio Smith, both 18 year-old football players, were arrested May 1st. Williams, Smith, and 19 year-old Reginald Lee were charged with child molestation.

22 year-old Janeel Buford was also arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery. He was a sheriff's deputy but resigned during the investigation. The GBI is handling the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest. "The sheriff just wanted to make sure this investigation is as unbiased as possible."

The fifth suspect, 29 year-old Michael Tyson of Killen, Texas, has not been arrested yet. He will also face child molestation charges if caught. The men are scheduled to go before the Grand Jury in July.

Posted 4:40PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com