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Grand jury to consider allegations against AJ Johnson
Former Gainesville linebacker accused of rape along with Michael Williams
0212AJ Johnson mug
A.J. Johnson

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The rape allegations involving former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson, who graduated from Gainesville High School in 2011, and defensive back Michael Williams will go before a grand jury.

Knox County Deputy District Attorney General Kyle Hixson said Tuesday that his office had completed its review of the police investigation and that "the citizens on the grand jury will decide whether Johnson and Williams will be criminally charged for the accusations against them."

Hixson's statement was first reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Attorneys Tom Dillard and David Eldridge told the newspaper their clients are innocent and they welcome the review. Dillard represents Johnson. Eldridge represents Williams.

“Michael Williams is innocent of these allegations,” Eldridge said in a statement. “He cooperated fully with the Knoxville Police Department’s investigation, welcomes further review, and is hopeful that this matter will be closed soon.”

Attempts by The Times to reach Dillard for comment were unsuccessful.

Knoxville police identified Johnson and Williams in November as subjects of a rape investigation, though neither has been arrested. Both were suspended from the team. Johnson has since graduated and completed his eligibility.

Times reporter Nick Watson contributed to this report.

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