- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - A judge in East Tennessee has upgraded charges against a Western Carolina University rugby player who is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl at a party.

The Johnson City Press (https://bit.ly/1sYnwyX) reports Washington County Sessions Court Judge Don Arnold decided after a preliminary hearing on Tuesday that 22-year-old Dylan Hutchins of Thomasville, North Carolina, should face four counts of aggravated rape. He had been facing a single count of statutory rape.

The ruling came after the female, who is now 18, testified about her recollection of what happened at the November party that was held after a match between rugby members at Western Carolina and East Tennessee State University.

“This is a flagrant case of rape according to this girl’s testimony,” Arnold said before his ruling.

Hutchins’ attorney, David Robbins, objected to the judge’s decision saying that his client was only on notice about the offense listed in the warrant.

“If he was on notice there were allegations of aggravated rape, the preliminary hearing may have been conducted differently,” Robbins said.

The judge declined to consider the objection.

“I’m not impressed with the argument, ‘I didn’t know,’ ” he said.

Hutchins will next appear in criminal court.

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Information from: Johnson City Press, https://www.johnsoncitypress.com

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