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Prosecutors dismiss sexual misconduct case against Tri-West high school student

Zachary Johnes.JPG
Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 18:44:55-05

HENDRICKS COUNTY — Prosecutors have dismissed felony criminal charges against a Tri-West High School student who was charged last month with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Zachary Johnes was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a felony.

A month after filing the charge against Johnes, Hendricks County prosecutors filed a motion on Dec. 18 to dismiss the case, and the judge granted the motion.

Call 6 Investigates reached out to prosecutor Loren Delp and Johnes’ attorney Bradley Banks for an explanation.

“We believed strongly that the allegations did not arise to the level of being criminal and I believe after looking into the matter further, the State agreed that Mr. Johnes had not engaged in any criminal act,” said Banks in an email to RTV6.

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On Dec. 18, the court also terminated a no contact order in the case.

In October, a friend of the suspect and alleged victim disclosed a possible rape to a Tri West school counselor that happened in July 2019.

The alleged victim and the teenage boys were drinking alcohol at a residence.

Johnes told his friend he had sex with the female twice and that she “had said to stop, but Johnes had not stopped,” court documents allege.

When police interviewed Johnes, Johnes said he had sex with the female twice but “it was not forced and the victim had not told Johnes to stop,” read court documents.

The girl was 15 at the time and Johnes was 18, records show.

The girl stated she did not remember what happened that evening, and wasn’t aware of a possible rape until Oct. 9.

The Pittsboro Police officer who investigated the case also found probable cause for a sexual battery charge against Johnes, but it does not appear that charge was filed by prosecutors.

Johnes is a student at Tri-West High School.

Donna Petraits, a district spokesperson for North West Hendricks School Corporation, released the following statement at the time of the arrest:

The Tri West guidance counselor followed appropriate protocol in immediately reporting the alleged incident to the NWHSC resource officer, who notified the Pittsboro police. We are aware Johnes has been charged and released on bail. The student is currently attending school part time with restrictions while awaiting any further legal action.

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