A Georgia chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is being investigated amid claims that pledges participated in a sex ring to help cover their initiation fees.
Hopeful pledges at Fort Valley State University allegedly sold their bodies to local politicians and businessman in order to gain admittance to the oldest Black Greek sorority, Rolling Out reported. At the center of the scandal is university employee Alecia Johnson, who’s also the graduate adviser for Fort Valley’s AKA chapter.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnson submitted her letter of resignation in April — the same day AKA’s national office announced its own probe into sexual misconduct allegations involving a Fort Valley employee. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it has also launched a sweeping investigation into claims of employee misconduct and hazing.
Johnson’s attorney, Adrian Patrick, has refuted allegations that his client “pimped out” out pledges who needed monies to join the organization. The initiation process to join the sorority can last months and can cost upwards of $1,600, some estimates show.
“She’s not a pimp, and she’s not a madam — none of that,” Patrick told local station WSB-TV on Monday. “She’s not guilty. She did not do anything.”
“I just think that’s incredulous,” Patrick added. “I mean, I know people want to be in a sorority. I got that part. I just don’t think that you’re going to sell your body … Plus, it’s inconsistent with the reputation of Alpha Kappa Alpha.”
So far, Johnson, who is also a member of the sorority, has not been arrested or charged in the ongoing criminal investigation but has been named as a person of interest amid rumors of sexual misconduct and prostitution involving Fort Valley’s AKA chapter.
“She’s been demonized by social media, but not one piece of evidence has shown what’s happening,” Patrick said.
Alpha Kappa Alpha has denied the claims in a statement:
“These allegations are in no way representative of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 110-year service-based mission or its nearly 300,000 members. We condemn these allegations in the strongest possible terms. We remain dedicated to our mission to encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote unity, alleviate problems concerning girls and women, create opportunities for them to pursue higher education and be of service to millions of people around the world annually.”