Marcus Dixon was an 18 year old high school football player with a 3.96 grade-point average and a scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University when he was arrested. He was convicted of aggravated child molestation and statutory rape for having consensual sex with a fellow student. The girl was only 15 at the time. Attorneys for Dixon told the Georgia Supreme Court in January that the teen's automatic 10 year sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Prosecutors insisted the mandatory prison term was exactly what state law intended for Dixon.

The Georgia Supreme Court yesterday threw out the conviction and 10 year prison sentence.  Dixon was released on his own recognizance yesterday after 15 months behind bars.  The court ruled 4-3 that he should have been prosecuted solely on the lesser charge of misdemeanor statutory rape rather than aggravated child molestation.  The high court let stand the statutory rape conviction, punishable by up to a year behind bars, more time than Dixon served.