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5 Chapel Hill Teens in Jail, Charged With Rape

Posted May 29, 2007
Updated October 3, 2011

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Editor's Note: The charges against all five men were dismissed in Oct. 2007. The district attorney's office determined there was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution.

Five Chapel Hill teenagers accused of gang raping a 16-year-old girl appeared in court for the first time Tuesday after being arrested Friday.

Sean Crawford-Brown, 17; Mark Anthony Holland, 17; Brian Gregory Minton, 16; Chanquez Neville, 17; and Colton O. Sanders, 17, each face one-count of first-degree rape in connection with an alleged incident that occurred Sept. 2 near the retail section of Southern Village.

Chapel Hill police said the alleged victim's friend reported the allegations Nov. 30. Investigators then had to locate and interview the alleged victim and each suspect before making the arrests.

Because the crime was not reported until nearly three months later, it took them longer to investigate and bring charges, Capt. Jackie Carden, with the Chapel Hill Police Department, said.

"We had five suspects that we wanted to, at least, attempt to interview prior to charging anyone," Carden said. "And we wanted to make sure all five were interviewed before the charges, and between that length of time, it took for us to get everything to fall in place."

Police said Neville attends at Pace Academy in Chapel Hill; Minton is at Chapel Hill High School. It was not clear where Crawford-Brown and Sanders go to school. Holland is a cook at UNC-Chapel Hill's off-campus dorm, Granville Towers.

Parents said all four of the suspects are friends, but it was unclear how they knew the alleged victim.

Minton and Sanders were arrested Friday and three others surrendered to police. Four of the five have made statements to investigators, but police would not elaborate further on the case.

Holland, Minton, Neville and Sanders were in the Orange County Jail Tuesday afternoon under a $200,000 bond. Crawford-Brown was out of jail on the same amount. The judge scheduled a bond hearing for the remaining four on Thursday.

Parents who attended Tuesday's hearing said they support their children and believe they are innocent.

"This stinks to high heaven, and a half-truth is nothing but a whole lie," said Patrick Sanders, Colton Sanders' father, outside the courtroom. "And that's all I've got to say."

Community members in Southern Village, a 300-acre, mixed-use development near the southern edge of Chapel Hill, were shocked Tuesday by the news of the alleged rape. Many locals consider the area to be a safe and quiet place.

"It's a shame," said Keith Getchell, who has managed a restaurant in the area for nearly a year. "I never would have guessed that something like that would have happened."

Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story erroneously stated that Colton Sanders attended Woods Charter School in Chatham County. He does not attend the school.


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  • lillianne May 31, 2007

    mario neville is a good friend and would never do something like that... i would know i got raped by a guy he and i had both been close friends with... he wanted to kill the guy... just wait and see what happens with the trial... i am praying for everyone involved

  • amt102190 May 31, 2007

    I just want to know what proof does anybody have against them that they did it? Like people said you are innocent until proven guilty.

  • mattdoggnc May 31, 2007

    As like many other cases reported by the media this one is full of holes. It may be true that some times the victim believes it is there falt but in this case the girls father and friend knew and they wated 3 months to report it, maybe theres something that happend during that time that was not said. Girls these days can say soemthing happend and a man is aressted on the spot no questions asked, girls know they can use this to there advantage which in some cases is not a bad thing but when that right starts to get abused there is a problem. No matter the out come of the case things will never be the same for anyone involved. I just hope every one involved realizes that, and not telling the whole truth is telling a whole lie.......

  • Amber88 May 31, 2007

    Being an 18 year old female I view this case as a load of bull. My best friend was raped and she came forth RIGHT after it happend. Everyone knows that when someone gets accused of rape no matter what the outcome, their lives are ruined. Since this case was brought foward not by the "victim" but by the victims friend shows there is definitely something odd about this case. Especially since it was brought foward 3 months after the alleged incident. There's no way to do a rape kit, DNA could most likely be useless, especially since it hasn't been done yet, 9 months after the "incident". It seems like the father and her friend are trying to cover up the fact that the daughter may be promiscuous, and the father is trying any way possible to cover up her acts and not admit to what the truth may be about his daughter. From what i've read this seems like another duke lacrosse case.
    There's got to be more to this case than what meets the eye, trust me I know. :)

  • mindyourown May 30, 2007

    Do the crime, do the time....

  • kaitlyn11 May 30, 2007

    this is wrong

  • the alliance May 30, 2007

    How can anyone enjoy rape if it is violent. Violence doesnt feel good. Must have been a power struggle. I doubt it was the suspects or receivers fantasy. If it was the receivers fantasy to go through with it...then,....

  • ncbookseller May 30, 2007

    Good point, mvnull. Perhaps some people commenting understand that better than they let on.

  • mvnull May 30, 2007

    worldofexperience, rape is not a crime of sex, it is a crime of violence and domination. Look on the various threads on this forum and notice how many people suggest rape as a punishment for criminals.

  • the alliance May 30, 2007

    Sex is complicated isnt it? It made all of us, yet man makes all kinds of laws to twist, accommodate, and box in its existance. I'll bet cave people never heard of the term Rape.