Copper Basin football player charged with child molestation
Polk County, TN (WRCB) -- A Copper Basin High School football starting lineman will have to sit on the sidelines after being accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.
Chris Phelan, 17, of Polk County is charged with child molestation after an alleged incident involving a 12-year-old little league cheerleader. Phelan is being charged as an adult, since the alleged incident happened in Fannin County, GA.
"I mean, it's a game to them, a lot of them, but sex is not a game," said Ruthanne Boggs. Boggs has a grandson in his junior year at Copper Basin High School. An alum herself, Boggs said nothing like this has ever happened before. "Never happened like this that I know of," Boggs said. "Kids are just trying to grow up too fast."
Polk County Director of Schools James Jones tells Channel 3, only one student has been charged. Another football player, who was 16 at the time, was allegedly involved in the incident but is not facing any charges. Jones said Phelan will not be allowed to play on the field pending the investigation.
High school students tell Channel 3 they have known Phelan all their lives, and if anything did happen, it was consensual.