KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Gainesville High football star A.J. Johnson, a former University of Tennessee linebacker, was one of two men indicted by a grand jury Thursday in connection with a rape investigation.
Johnson’s attorney, Tom Dillard, confirmed to the Knoxville News Sentinel that the Knox County District Attorney General’s office had informed him of his client’s indictment.
“We’re making plans for him to surrender,” Dillard was quoted as saying.
The News Sentinel reported the two were indicted by a Knox County grand jury on two counts each of aggravated rape, according to court records obtained Thursday by the newspaper.
The attorney for suspended Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams said his client also was indicted. David Eldridge said Thursday that Williams had turned himself in and was released on $40,000 bond.
The presentment charges each player with two counts of aggravated rape, "aided and abetted by" the other.
"Michael Williams is innocent of these charges," Eldridge said in a statement. "He cooperated fully with the Knoxville Police Department's investigation and is disappointed in the decision to pursue criminal charges against him. He will vigorously defend these charges in court and is confident that when all the evidence is presented there, he will be exonerated."
Knoxville police named Williams, 21, and Johnson, 23, in November as subjects of a rape investigation. Knox County deputy district attorney Kyle Hixson said Tuesday the case would go before a grand jury.
Both players were suspended from the team the day before police identified them as subjects of the investigation. Johnson has since graduated and completed his eligibility.
Johnson had been on the list of players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine that takes place next week in Indianapolis.
Johnson graduated from Gainesville High in 2011.
The police report released in November said that Knoxville police investigator Tim Riddle spoke to two 19-year-old women on Nov. 16 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at about 4:30 a.m. One woman said Johnson and Williams raped her at the apartment complex in South Knoxville. A second woman said she was sexually assaulted by Williams at the same location.
Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said at the time that the woman who said she was sexually assaulted had "decided not to prosecute at this time," but that the woman who said she was raped wanted to press charges.
Prosecutors could not be reached immediately for comment by the News Sentinel.
Police turned over the results of the investigation to prosecutors Dec. 12.
The Knoxville News Sentinel and Associated Press reports contributed to this story.