July 7, 2004
(Moultrie-AP) -- A former guidance counselor at Colquitt County High School has pleaded not guilty to forgery charges in relation to an alleged SAT scam.
Fifty-one-year-old Ernest Shanks Junior waived arraignment Tuesday and entered the plea of innocent to charges of first-degree forgery. The charges stem from a failed scheme to have one of Shanks' students at Colquitt County High take the Scholastic Aptitude Test in 2002, using the name of University of Georgia basketball recruit and former Dougherty High School star Alexander Johnson.
Johnson had signed with Georgia but did not qualify academically to join the Bulldogs for the 2002 season.
Shanks is accused of forging student I.D. and Social Security cards for student John Yearta under Johnson's name. The student never took the test but the scheme was reported to the Colquitt County superintendent.
Johnson, a six-foot-ten forward, now plays basketball at Florida State.
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