All charges against a 16-year-old East High School student accused of rape have been dropped, the boy's attorney and the Shelby County Juvenile Court told FOX13 News.
Earlier this month, the teen was arrested and charged with aggravated rape. An affidavit says an 18-year-old female student told authorities that the 16-year-old boy raped her in a stairway at East High School as she was trying to eat lunch.
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The teens mom, Daina Neely, says she knew the charges would be dropped, that it was just a matter of time.
"Being a mother I know my child and I know he wouldn't harm anybody," says Neely, "My son is not a sexual predator, he's not."
She says her son is an honor roll student, a basketball player at East High School and a gentleman. Neely tells FOX 13 it was heartbreaking to read the affidavit that stated her son raped and hit an 18-year-old girl.
"As a mom that's crushing because you know how you raise your child to be the best and to respect and that's what I know I had raised that type of son," says Neely.
Her son tells FOX 13 that being called a violent offender was stunning, adding, "Kind of hurt me that people would rush to judgment instead of looking into the whole thing before you make your decision about somebody."
The 16-year-old was arrested and taken to the Shelby County Juvenile Court Aug. 14.
His mom recalls, "The officer from the school said I needed to go down to the school right away because my son has been taken down for rape. That's initial shock at first. It was unbelievable. I never would think that I would be in that position. No mom ever thinks that they're going to be in that position."
Neely says she was finally able to speak with her son after questioning.
"He just told me ‘Mom, I didn't do that.' Initially he didn't know what they were taking him for until they told him and he was shocked," she says.
He was released two days after being arrested; a week later all charges are dropped.
Both mom and son are celebrating the dropped charges; it's a night mom says she is more than happy to cook dinner for the family.
"You just have to stay prayerful with your teenagers, with your children, period, and talk to them about everything," says Neely.
"I just want to thank everybody who supported me, my family and friends who supported me through this time and situation," says the 16-year-old boy, "I can continue to go back to school and get in my books and continue to play basketball."
The teen says he hopes to someday attend the University of North Carolina to play basketball and study science. He says he wants to have a successful career so he can support his mother financially after all the support she has given her.
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