Pelham man on trial in Albany federal court

The federal courthouse in Albany, Ga.

A Pelham, Ga., man is on trial in a federal court in Albany, Ga., this week, facing charges of sexual abuse on the high seas.

Britt Scarbrough was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2015 and charged with two counts of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual conduct. Opening statements were given Tuesday morning and several prosecution witnesses were called to the stand, including one of the victims, according to a summary of the trial transcript.

Scarbrough pled not guilty on all three counts.

According to federal prosecutors, Scarbrough was on a cruise to the Bahamas in June 2014 celebrating graduation from Pelham (GA) High School, when he took advantage of two different women who were reportedly intoxicated.

According to the indictment, federal prosecutors allege Britt Scarbrough of unlawful actions taking place “on or about June 3, 2014, on the high seas at a place between Port Canaveral, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas, a place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

All three counts allege Scarbrough caused two different women to engage in sexual acts. The prosecutors maintain the two women were “incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct, physically incapable of declining participation in the aforementioned sexual act and physically incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in the aforementioned sexual act.”

According to court records, federal prosecutors have notified the defense attorneys that they plan to bring up potential DNA evidence during the trial.

Judge Louis W. Sands is presiding over the trial proceedings in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia-Albany Division.

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