Former Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) President Joel Sharpe (20B), who was arrested for possession of cocaine, received medical amnesty from Emory’s Office of Student Conduct on Feb. 1, according to his attorney Noah Pines.
Sharpe was arrested two weeks ago after an Emory Police Department (EPD) officer, responding to an intoxicated individual at the AEPi house, spotted Sharpe holding a cellophane bag with a “white powdery substance” inside, according to an EPD incident report.
Students who seek medical assistance for another person during an alcohol or drug-related emergency “will not face formal conduct action by the Office of Student Conduct for the mere possession or use of alcohol or drugs,” according to the office’s website.
Director of the Office of Student Conduct Julia Thompson did not confirm whether Sharpe received medical amnesty, citing federal student privacy guidelines.
Pines said Sharpe called emergency services using another student’s phone but declined to provide that student’s name to the Wheel.
Sharpe could still face criminal prosecution. Yvette Jones, director of communications at the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office, wrote in a Feb. 6 email to the Wheel, “We are still in the preliminary stages of evaluation and investigation and have not yet made a determination regarding a charging decision.”
Possession of cocaine is a felony in Georgia. Sharpe filed a motion to dismiss the case against him on Jan. 28, according to court records.
According to Georgia law, “Any person who in good faith seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing or believed to be experiencing a drug overdose shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation if the evidence for the arrest, charge, or prosecution of such drug violation resulted solely from seeking such medical assistance.”
EPD did not respond to multiple inquiries about whether Sharpe was seeking medical assistance and if he qualifies for medical immunity from prosecution.