Update on July 24, 2017: According to records provided to The Ithaca Voice, all charges against Barklee Sanders have been sealed and dismissed. The courts did not find him guilty of any crimes. 

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This story was written by Pete Blanchard of the Cortland Voice, partner of the Ithaca Voice.

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Friends and family members of a Cortland man charged with rape say Barklee U. Sanders has been falsely accused of the crime.

Sanders, 21, of Cortland, was arrested Nov. 11 and charged with first-degree rape, a felony, and unlawful dealing with a child, a misdemeanor, in connection with a reported rape on Nov. 8.

According to police, Sanders provided alcohol to a 17-year-old girl and had sex with her while she was unable to consent.

Friends and family members say Sanders has been falsely accused of the crime and are calling on community members to show up at Sanders’ court appearance Wednesday to demonstrate their support.

Sanders is scheduled to appear in Cortland City Court, 25 Court Street, at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Sanders, who serves in the U.S. Army National Guard, was released on bail from the Cortland County Jail Tuesday afternoon, according to family members.

Sanders’ mother, Catherine Sanders, believes her son has been wrongly accused.

“Barklee had a lot of courage dealing with this, and I hope the truth comes out in the end,” Ms. Sanders said Tuesday. “He’s held up well, I thought.”

Sanders organized a fundraiser earlier this year for the families of Alexis Porter and Andrea Czimmer, two young girls who were killed in a crash on I-81 in Preble in May.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.