Ex-Tennessee football players ordered to trial on rape charges

Mon Mar 9, 2015 4:13pm EDT
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By Tim Ghianni

(Reuters) - A state court judge on Monday set an August trial for two former University of Tennessee football players who are accused of raping a 19-year-old woman at the school in November.

Attorneys representing Michael Williams and A.J. Johnson maintained their innocence in a brief arraignment in Knox County Criminal Court on Monday.

Williams and Johnson, who were indicted in February on two counts of aggravated rape, waived formal reading of the charges and said they were not guilty, according to the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk.

Williams, who was suspended from the team, is a defensive back. Johnson, a linebacker, has graduated from the university.

Judge Bob McGee set a trial date of Aug. 24 for Williams and Johnson, who are free on $40,000 bonds, according to the clerk.

Attorneys for Williams and Johnson could not be reached immediately for comment.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Editing by Eric Walsh)