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19-year-old charged with rape in Flowery Branch
Ethan Blanchard

A Gainesville man originally accused of misdemeanor sexual battery was later charged with rape after further investigation, police said.

Ethan Blanchard, of Gainesville, was arrested Saturday, March 2, by Flowery Branch Police.

He was originally charged with the misdemeanor after allegedly “inappropriately touching a female victim at a residence” in Flowery Branch, Investigator Robin Kemp wrote in an email.

“During the course of our investigation which included taking statements and a (sexual assault nurse examiner) physical examination of the victim, we felt there was sufficient probable cause to take a warrant for rape,” Kemp wrote in an email Tuesday, March 5.

Kemp said Blanchard and the alleged victim knew each other and were at a “party or get-together of sorts” at the residence.

The investigator did not disclose the age of the alleged victim other than she was “of age to consent.”

Kemp said the department had been investigating the case since Saturday.

Blanchard was booked in to the Hall County Jail, where he remains.

No attorney information was available from Magistrate Court officials Tuesday.

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