Court: Columbus man pleads not guilty to statutory rape, sodomy

Sarah Robinson

Sexually explicit text messages found on an underage teenage girl’s phone led to a man facing charges of statutory rape and sodomy.

Columbus Police said they launched an investigation into the incident on Nov. 16 after the victim’s father informed them about sexually explicit text messages that had been exchanged between his 15-year-old daughter and Zachary Dylan Bragg, 18.

Bragg appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guitly to both charges. Both misdemeanor charges were bound over to State Court.

In the text messages, which he found on his daughter’s cellphone, the two allegedly discussed sexual acts they performed together. 

On Nov. 19, detectives conducted a forensic interview with the victim in which she stated that she met Bragg on a messenger app called Kik. The girl said they had sexual intercourse in June and November, police detective Jessie Knight testified.

Knight said all of these incidents happened at a Columbus residence near Rockdale Drive, before and after the girl’s 15th birthday.

The victim later told police that Bragg also sodomized her.

Police issued a warrant for Bragg’s arrest on Dec. 16, when he was living in Phenix City. He was apprehended around 8:51 p.m. Sunday in his current residence in the 3400 block of Pontiac Drive.

Bragg didn’t testify in court.

He was ordered held in Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $10,000.

— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.