Ft. Gordon releases statement on 3 sailors arrested in rape, sodomy case

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Michael Billington, 24, Teddy Diake, 24, and Johnathan Augustus, 24, have all been arrested in the March 3 case.

FORT GORDON, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Fort Gordon officials have released a statement after three sailors were arrested and charged in connection with a rape and sodomy case.

Pledging that they take the allegations against the three men "very seriously," fort officials say the investigation is ongoing.

"The Richmond County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is investigating allegations of a sexual assault that took place March 3 involving three Sailors. We take allegations of this nature very seriously, and the investigation is ongoing. Questions concerning this incident should be directed to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office," the statement said.

Michael Billington , 24, Teddy Diake, 24, and Johnathan Augustus, 24, have all been arrested and charged with rape and aggravated sodomy.

Sheriff's investigators, along with NCIS, says the men were at a party that evening and assaulted a woman in a bedroom.

Will Vogel can't believe this happened at his apartment complex.

“It's terrible,” Vogel said. “I have two younger sisters, so for me it's sad. It's infuriating especially when it's so close to home."

Phyllis Ward couldn't agree more. As a veteran who worked at Fort Gordon for 6 years -- and with a brother in the Navy -- she's deeply disappointed.

"It puts a bad image on the military all around,” Ward said.

She says it doesn't matter what branch, a crime like this is unacceptable and should be punished.

"The punishment's going to be fierce and likely should be,” Ward said. “Nobody should have to endure or encounter anything like that from anyone, much less a soldier."

Vogel hopes justice is served if they are convicted.

“Especially for the girl that it happened to and her family,” Vogel said. “You want to see justice done, you hope the local core system and the people from Fort Gordon do their part to make sure justice is carried out.”

The woman, meanwhile, was taken to nearby University Hospital where she was treated for "a number of undisclosed injuries," RCSO said in a statement.

All three men are being held at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.