A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams plead not guilty in Tennessee rape case

Dr. Saturday

Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and suspended cornerback Michael Williams pleaded not guilty to aggravated rape charges during their arraignment Monday.

The two were indicted last month by a grand jury and trial has been set for August 24.

Both players were named as suspects in a rape case in November. A 19-year-old female Tennessee student accused Johnson, 23, and Williams, 21, of rape at approximately 1:45 a.m. during a party at Johnson’s apartment. Johnson also was accused of sexually assaulting another woman during the same incident, but the second woman told police she would not be pursuing charges.

Johnson and Williams were suspended from the Tennessee football team a day before they were named as suspects in the assault. Johnson, a 2013 All-SEC selection who was the Vols’ leading tackler at the time, graduated in December and has no remaining eligibility. Williams is still enrolled at Tennessee. He started five games and made 23 tackles for the Vols in 2014.

Lawyers for both players have said their clients are innocent of the charges.

“What I've said before, I'll say again,” David Eldridge, the lawyer representing Williams told the Associated Press. “He's innocent of the charges and we will defend them in court.”

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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