SportsFanLive.com Exclusive: Sex Offense Clouds NFL Draft Status Of Lineman Despite Strong Combine

  • Monday, March 8, 2010 10:12 AM
  • Written By: SportsFanLive Reports

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By JENNA LAINE
SportsFanLive.com Reporter

Posted on March 8, 2010 at 6:12 p.m. ET

An offensive tackle from a small Division II Christian school, Tony Washington went to Indianapolis virtually unknown. After top performances at the NFL Combine, the Abilene Christian standout has seen his draft stock climb as high as the second round. But he bears the burden of a troubled past – one that’s causing some NFL teams to think twice.

Washington is a registered sex offender.

Until now, he has not publicly addressed the specifics of his situation, but in a statement provided exclusively to SportsFanLive.com, he confirmed what is likely to haunt him for the rest of his life.

“I made a mistake at the age of 16, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” Washington said. “I will not try and excuse or justify anything. I have worked extremely hard to do everything right so that I might have an opportunity to give back. I only hope that someone in the NFL will give me the same opportunity that Abilene Christian and Trinity Valley gave me.”

In May 2003, Washington was convicted of having sex with a relative that multiple NFL and college sources say was his 15-year old biological sister. The act was consensual, according to his college coaches and two NFL scouts, who spoke to him about the incident. The sister does not wish to speak publicly on the case, according to Washington’s agent, who added that the siblings are now on good terms and talk often. Washington received five years probation and did not serve jail time.

Due to the nature of the crime and Washington’s status as a juvenile, records specifically related to the crime itself could not be obtained in requests made to both the Texas Department of Public

Safety and the New Orleans Police Department. But if this had been "sexual assault," Washington’s report on the sex-offender registry would have listed a different offense.

Inside the interview rooms at the Combine, scouts questioned him at length about his past. Some are willing to give him a chance. After all, Washington had the best broad jump among offensive lineman at 9 feet, 6 inches and the sixth-best time in the three-cone drill. Despite that talent, other scouts may not be so forgiving.

Trinity Valley Community College coach Mark Sartain faced the same challenge back in 2005, when he met Washington, then a high school senior.

“He e-mailed me several times asking for an opportunity to play and finally sent me a grainy tape,” Sartain said. “You could barely see him in it.”

The only evidence of his potential as a football player was the massive 6-7, 300-pound frame he carried. Everything else, including his home, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

“Katrina was a total disruption of his life and his high school career,” said Sartain, a coaching veteran of 26 years and father of two, who now heads up the football program at East Texas Baptist University.

Then Washington told him: “Coach, there’s something you need to know.”

Although it was unsettling, Washington’s confession did not cause Sartain to shy away from his young recruit. In fact, because Washington volunteered the information, Sartain realized “this young man deserves a second chance.”

The product of what Sartain calls a “dysfunctional” family, Washington arrived in Athens, Texas, with emotional needs that had long been neglected. “I don’t want to say he was emotionally ‘crippled,’ but with that traumatic time in his life, he skipped a phase, so to speak, in his emotional development,” the coach said.

His unique situation required authorities in both New Orleans and Texas to accept his transfer of residence, something law enforcement officials in his home state of Louisiana initially refused to do. It meant Sartain and his staff had to jump through hoops to get Tony into their program.

“They were ignoring him and not returning calls because they didn’t want to deal with him,” Sartain said. “We had to fight for a couple weeks to get that whole thing done.”

Abilene: Faith And Football

Like Sartain, Abilene Christian coach Chris Thomsen felt his profession was a calling from God, with the decisions he makes on the football field dictated by his faith. “It’s what guides me,” he said.

So when Sartain, a friend of 15 years, spoke of a promising left tackle who wanted to come play at Abilene but had some off-the-field issues, Thomsen took a closer look.

For Washington to enter Thomsen’s program, he had to pass through five levels of clearance, which the school considers protocol any time an at-risk student seeks admittance. He first needed approval from Thomsen, then the athletic director, the dean of student affairs, the chief of police and finally the president of the school.

“The biggest concern I had was, ‘Is he going to be a threat to the community?’” Thomsen said.

After a thorough investigation, the school agreed to accept him. “Even the chief of police thought Tony was a low risk,” Thomsen said.

Under Thomsen, Washington thrived on the football field. He became a two-time Division II All-American, was awarded the Lone Star South Division Offensive Player of the Year Award two years in a row and was a 2009 finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award (best Division II lineman, offensive or defensive).

Under his coach’s strong Christian influence and Abilene’s required daily chapel sessions, Washington began to thrive spiritually too, Thomsen said, by learning of Biblical figures such as Moses, David and Paul -- men who committed murder -- and Peter, who was impulsive.

He learned the power of forgiveness at Abilene, because he saw it firsthand from his coach. Thomsen has a reputation for taking on troubled athletes like Bernard Scott, who had several arrests before being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals last year.

Thomsen also takes pride in the fact that he can help mold young men, like Washington, not just into better football players, but better people. “That’s what you want as a coach,” he said. “You want to see guys grow as players, you want to see them grow as people, and I saw that with Tony.”

But will NFL scouts be as forgiving as Thomsen and Sartain? Will the public?

“We all knew this day was coming,” Sartain said.

The Stigma

The juvenile justice system forgives troubled minors who break the law by sealing their records. But because Washington committed a sex crime, he must register annually as a sex offender – something that will follow him for the rest of his life.

“He just made a mistake. He made a bad choice, in a bad situation, in a bad environment,” said Sartain, who understands that Washington must live with the consequences but doesn’t believe he should have to be humiliated for something he did at a young age.

He added that because of Washington’s troubled life at home, he was forced to make a “quick sprint into adulthood.”

“I don’t want to cry ‘victim’ and he never has, per se, but I really believe that he was a 16-year-old victim of his own environment,” Sartain said. “It’s unfortunate that the counsel that he got at the time led him to have this label on him the rest of his life.”

It’s a label he couldn’t escape in his hometown of New Orleans, where as a high school student, he bagged groceries at Save-a-Lot until 5 a.m., went directly to school, then practice, then back to work. He couldn’t escape it when he came to Athens, Texas, and had his name printed in the local newspaper as part of the required community notification of his status.

But if he truly wanted to run from his past, he would have given up long ago. Instead, he’s choosing to face it, something Sartain hopes people will appreciate.

“I find it hard to believe that people cannot realize the resolve, the perseverance, the character and determination that this young man has had to get where he is,” Sartain said.

Thomsen points to the fact that his former player has had no run-ins with the law since his offense seven years ago.

“I have no fear in my mind of anything like that happening with Tony again,” Thomsen said. “I wouldn’t have brought him here if I had that fear. And I have no reservations about anything like that happening again in his future.”

The fact that the offense was committed as a juvenile means the odds are in his favor. According to a report published by the National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth, adolescent sex offenders have a 5 percent to 14 percent chance of sexual re-offenses.

Dr. Fred Berlin, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic, believes that unlike adult offenders, juveniles are “highly treatable” and “rarely go on to become adult offenders.”

According to Berlin, who has treated juvenile sex offenders, in some cases a young offender must simply accept the consequences of his mistakes and learn how to behave differently in order to move on. Other times, more intensive treatment, such as medication, is needed to ensure they are not a threat to others, or even to themselves.

Berlin has been an advocate for shielding juvenile sex offenders from the harsh stigma and even humiliation that accompanies placement on local and national registries.

“We want adolescent sex offenders to go on and become productive members of society, but they can’t do that if we’re constantly throwing barricades in front of them,” Berlin said.

Berlin cautions that each individual must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. But he says the fact that Washington’s wasn’t a forced act, that there was just a one-year age difference, and that he has not had any reported run-ins with the law since, suggests that as long as Washington has had the appropriate counseling, “the likelihood is very high that he’s going to go on and live a good, responsible life.”

Scouts Weigh In

One NFL scout, who asked to remain anonymous, isn’t so sure. He points to the fact that the 24-year old has already been divorced, which could suggest a pattern of broken relationships. “I worry about this kid. Whether it's that again or something else, he has a history of serious problems,” he said.

“What disturbs me is that I don't know if he sees anything wrong with it,” the scout added. “He said

where he comes from, this kind of thing happens all the time. I don’t think he’s at all ready for the rejection he's about to face once people find out.”

Another NFL scout, who also asked for anonymity, worries about the reception Washington would receive in the NFL. Despite his concerns regarding the sex-offender status, the scout said that Washington's performance at the Combine was unquestionably good and gave him a "second-round" grading.

“I’m not so much concerned with the incident. It happened seven years ago,” the scout said. “But I am concerned with his maturity level. He’s going to walk into an NFL locker room where it’s tough enough being a rookie, but this – this takes it to a whole new level. And I worry about how the media in whatever market his team is in is going to take this.”

Thomsen disagrees with the assessment that his former player is “immature,” saying he was a model citizen, and “never had any off-the-field incident or any problems whatsoever” at Abilene Christian.

Rather than preparing for the Combine at one of the trendy high-end training facilities, Washington chose to work out privately with former Ohio State linebacker Anthony Schlegal, who was the campus president for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“He’s surrounding himself with good people,” Thomsen said. “He wants to succeed. And that’s what he needs.”

Washington’s choice of agent is also telling. Vann McElroy is not only a former NFL safety who won a Super Bowl with the Raiders, but he is also the son of a pastor.

“We didn’t put people like Anthony Schlegel in Tony’s life,” McElroy told SportsFanLive.com. “He reached out to them. He chose to go to Abilene Christian. To me that says a lot.”

According to a third scout, “He’s too talented not to get drafted. Plus there are a handful of teams out there who would give this guy a chance.”

Berlin agrees that Washington deserves a chance to play in the NFL, just as he believes other juvenile offenders deserve a right to move on with their lives after serving sentences for their crimes.

“We need to do everything we can to support those folks in turning their lives around rather than doing things that might act as an impediment,” Berlin said.

Sartain feels Washington could use it as a platform to potentially inspire others who have overcome personal struggles and bouts with adversity.

“I believe that in God’s plan for Tony, he’s going to turn all of this that’s happened to him and turn it into something very positive," Sartain said. "And I’ll stand right there beside him through it if I need to. I really believe in this man.”

Berlin echoed Sartain’s sentiment.

“I would like to believe that there are a lot of people out there who would cheer him on, and to the extent that he succeeds, be very happy that someone who has gone astray has really turned it around and made a success out of his life," Berlin said.

“His story is only in the early chapters – his book shouldn’t be closed prematurely as though it has to have an unhappy ending.”

The next chapter in Tony Washington’s life will be written the third week in April in New York City at the NFL Draft.





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Fan1
Great job of reporting! Very compelling story.
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Calgal
Wow, what a story! Nice reporting, and you handled this tough piece with fairness.
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stantheman
Very interesting story. Good reporting.
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yukon_bell
It is refreshing to read a story about atoning for what has been done in the past. It seems a popular trend in media to focus on what people have done wrong in there past rather than how it has shaped their present.
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tgr4lf
I don't think this could have been done more fairly, accurately, or with more compassion. Thanks for giving equal time to a young man who is and has faced his consequences like a man. He deserves a break, one I am sure he will be grateful for and take full advantage of.
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sportsfan
This story could easily have been sensationalized. Congrats, SFL, for handling such a sensitive subject so well.
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Third
Great story.. I'd be more worried about Texas than this kid.. I'm a little confused about the laws down there how a 16 yr old kid could be considered a sex offender for having sex w/ his 15 yr old sister. Overall great reporting though and I agree with everybody you guys couldve easily sensationalized this and didn't
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Jenocean
Third, it's illegal in Texas to have sex with a relative, even if it's consensual and if you're a minor. Not sure it's legal anywhere to have sex with your sister.
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Jenocean
My only question: If this was consensual, why is the sister listed as a "victim" on the sex offender registry? Why wasn't she charged with the same crime? Is this a sexist application of the law, or did he plea down from a lesser sexual assault charge? And if it was consensual, how was he caught?
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runranns
Great reporting--hoping this is the 'go-to' article as this man goes forward.
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Chewy0516
Awesome story! If only more journalists took this sort of perspective. To the point that many have already made, most journalists and news outlets sensationalize the crap out of stuff like this. Let's get back to the human interest side of life. Kudos to Jenna Laine for not "going with the flow" and taking a perspective that might not have been the most popular, but certainly the most respected.
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Mojo
Better be the 'go-to-article'...SportsFanLive is the site who broke the story!
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NotSure
Are laws different in Texas? in 2003 he probably would have been 17 himself, is that a crime? I know it's wrong, but doesn't sound like a crime. Also, media... it appears you are posting a report with a social security number in it. Good job.
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Mojo
NotSure - Clearly you can't count because a SS# is 10 digits
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Mojo
Typo...9 digits
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NTRVRT
What does this have to do with the NFL? Are they afraid he may attack a little girl on the football field or in the locker room? Not to mention, he was a teenager...and of course, we were ALL model citizens as teenagers!!!
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Timbo
Quite a unique story. However, having sex with your sister is a rite of passage in the south
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fb fan
Very well written story great job.... Hope he gets a second chance, seems like theres alot more to it though.... Surely it is a large burden to carry such a horrible mistake you made with you for the rest of your life
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showtime
jenocean, i totally agree with you. since it was consensual, either BOTH the sister and he need to be considered sex offenders, or NEITHER of them. Unless the offense is rape or sexual assault, I don't believe that a minor should have to carry the stigma of sexual offender with them for the rest of their lives.
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Question
Wow, this is really tough to read and stomach. I hope this young man is getting all the help he needs and has a rock solid support system. I wish him well on his personal and professional journey.
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PanamaTiger
Hey Timbo - drop dead. You are a frigging moron. Your implication that people from the South have sex with relatives as a ritual is the dumbest thing I've read in a long time. YOU are likely a product of inbreeding. Check your DNA.
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HonestJohn
Let's hope this was just a one time mistake. It seems this young man is taking the right steps and letting his fate rest in Gods hands. "Judge not lest ye be judged" sayeth the Lord. We can only hope that he will resist the tnb hormonal urges and continue on the straight and narrow path.
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Matthew 7:1
Nobody who does something like this at the age of 16 should have it hanging over his head for the rest of his life, especially if it was consensual.
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Bears Fan
Lovie Smith will draft him - guaranteed. He's a Chicago Bear. He loves Abilene Christian Guys.
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unbelievable
a) it was consensual. b) he was 16 and the girl was 15. both very, very normal teenage behavior. now c) it was his sister. very freaky. but a crime? seriously? a crime? absolute BS.
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dagray
What he did was very creepy I dont see how he is a sex offender. They were both underage and both were willing. I dont see any crime here.
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Mojo
Berl, how dare you say such a hateful thing about anyone? What is the matter with you?
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easton
tragic situation for both he and his sister, their records should have been sealed to everyone but his case worker. and psychiatrists. Both of these children (and they were children) must have been so love starved to do such a thing. Really, really tragic. I hope this young man succeeds.
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Wyoming S
I feel sorry for both parties involved. Victim and perpetrator. Sister and brother. They were minors and the brother is contrite for what was done. How is this in the public record? It should be verboten and sealed. Shame on all media for rummaging in a remorseful child's closet.
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sigh
This happened 7 freaking years ago. Has he had anything in the last 7 years that show he is actually a sex offender or is this it? They both made a mistake, they both payed for it way before this came out to the public. There is absolutely zero reasons you can give me that can make me think this is important and should have an impact on being drafted. Oh he had sex with his sister when she was a year younger. But Ray Lewis can kill a man and still play. Donté Stallworth can hit and kill a man while drunk driving and get reinstated in a year. Micheal Vick can have dog fighting ring, go to prison longer than the players who murdered and killed a human being. But yet because this guy had sex with someone a year younger he is a danger to the NFL? Give me a break. (I'm not talking about this article just the situation...)
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Fanatics
Texas laws are crazy, why would he be considered a sex-offender??
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Justice gone astray
Excellent article. If I were an NFL GM, my only question would be, "How will he behave the rest of his life?" Kids, especially adolescents, both male and female, can do some pretty stupid things. Unfortunately, our laws do not treat the sexes equally. Sometimes, just growing up and realizing what you did is not acceptable in our society is the only thing necessary to keep it from happening again.
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Raheem
so sad that our laws require that this indiscretion follow him for the rest of his life. Why is this even a crime? Yeah it's totally weird and dysfunctional, but a *crime*? Ridiculous.
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alcopokiathelete
I HOPE HE KILLS IN THE NFL!!! IT WAS CONSENTUAL SHE WANTED IT TOO HE IS NOT IN THE WRONG
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james
man ,good guy but i would not draft him. i think it might be bad 4 tickets seals
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Nathan Allen
What a disgusting sub human species. This animal should be put to sleep.
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bfears
sad story. wonderful reporting. hopefully he can have a happy ending. thanks for writing the story without bias.
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kit
This is insane, people making excuses for him. He was 16, not six. There is no way a 15 year old girl would willingly have sex with her brother. He's 6'7"! He raped her, obviously. Even if it were consensual, it's vile. Absolutely vile. If someone were able to do such a thing-just two years from official adulthood, he is capable of ANYTHING. One a sex deviant(and few things are more deviant than having sex with your sister), always a sex deviant. Mark my words, he will re-offend. It's only a matter of time. Shame on all the people here so easily dismissing this. It's grotesque.
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Smoke
Kit you can't be serious...I really wish you, your kids, relatives, etc. would have to pay for something for the REST OF THEIR LIFE based on something they did at 16. She wasn't an adolescent..she was ONE year younger. Please bury yourself somewhere...you make no logical sense and I hope you never become a judge or become part of a jury
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Quis
He seems like a good kid. Just hope his past doesn't mess up his future.
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simplysimmon2
6'7", 300 lbs left tackle, hmmm, with bad history as an adolescent but clean ever since. Hmmmm. I'd take him cheap at 4th round and possibly start him. Forgiven, he contributes; condemned, he's haunted out of the league by the non-forgivers, obviously not by any TRUE Christians. I'd promote my Godly forgiveness by drafting him cheap but using him royally.
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knockout
James, u need to learn how t spell, it's sells not seals. Don't get me twisted what he did was morally wrong but he has begged for forgiveness. There are undercover gays in the NFL and it haven't affected ticket sells. That my friend is morally wrong, James and Kit.
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Really?
“He just made a mistake. He made a bad choice, in a bad situation, in a bad environment,” said Sartain Ummm...he banged his sister. That's not "just a mistake" in my book.
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Mike
If this young man Tony Washington had a better lawyer when he was charged,(At 16) this embarrising charge might not be following him for the rest of his life where people can contiue to throw this youthful status charge at him..If this charge was truly sealed because of his age, why is it still haunting him when he's trying to overcome his past. Maybe a sealed ten year timeline for youthful status to get your name off of the registered sex offender list is something to consider. How many people are out there walking around without their name on the list because they had the money to hire a better lawyer.
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LSC-Fan
I'd heard of this situation prior to reading this. I'd always heard that the sister was mentally challenged. That takes it to a criminal level I'm sure.
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Fan 2
Why was he even prosecuted? What he did was wrong, but criminal? He was a minor and she was a minor. This smells of racism and a justice system out of order. Now, he has to keep apologizing for something that should have been no one else's business except maybe a family counseler.
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Gracie
I hope he surrounds himself w/good mentors. The financial freedom (afforded by the NFL salaries) has derailed many young men from far less dysfunctional backgrounds. Hope his new team will be proactive in reporting his sex-offender status using your article.would be a good start.
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Shalebrook
If he came from West Virgina he was probably expected to not only have sex with his sister, but marry her!!! Budda bing, budda boom!!!!
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No Pro Fan
No team cares if a player has a record or not. If a team thinks a player will help their team, they could be an ax murder who got off on a technicality. Winning is everything to these teams.
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understanding
can't you let it go! how many siblings haven't done this! it is not any criminal offense and if it was a lot of people would have the same problem and be in some kind of therapy.
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JKPage
NFL should give this young man a chance. One mistake should not condemm him for life.
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Tommy V
Well, it should be illegal, no doubt about it, but I can't believe they actually prosecuted 16 and 15 year old kids. What was the point of that but to ruin someone's life at a young age? If it was assault, of course, but two consensual minors? Get them serious, serious counseling - you don't prosecute!
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Don'tDogaGoodMan
Hey Sigh Ray Lewis didn't kill any one...the guys testifying for the prosecution couldn't even keep their stories the same, so obviously they were plotting against him from the start. People forget that there was no evidence that he did anything other than him being near the incident, not to mention all the settlements he has had to make any way. Shame on any one who thinks such a great man lilke Ray Lewis would kill another human being...
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think before you speak
sounds like the kid has done everything he can to make amends, hopefully someone gives him a chance. mos tof the comments reflect thoughtful folks, but thier are a few that have obviously come from sheltered and verry controlled enviroments and had no idea of what an orgasm ws like till they had thier firs wet dream. thier is a very strong possibility this fella was sexually abuse himself, probably part of his life he cares not to discuss. sounds like there's alot of talk about what he did a 16, though kinda freeky sounding, how many male can actually say they didn't atleast fanticise about a cousin at that age. the registration and wondering if thats what other people are thinkg while looking or talking to him is probably suficient considering the scale he's gone public with this information
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mike b
At least it wasn't his mother..
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Diggity
Was she at least hot?
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ratbastard
is she hot?
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Priest Holmes 2 HoF
The problem is financial. Every single one of us probably knows a person who would be outraged that their team drafted a sex offender. Keep in mind the backlash surrounding Michael Vick, who performed an arguably lesser crime. Yes, he was a juvenile, and, apparently, it was consensual. But, the only way he gets picked is if a GM really believes that his fan base is mature enough to give this guy a second chance, which I believe he deserves. That said, I can guarantee that whatever team picks him will have to deal with protestors and picket lines for awhile. Finally, as for why the sister is considered a victim of consensual sex...when it comes to sex offenses, we as a society are incapable of fair judgement; we either respect "innocent until proven guilty" which allows some offenders to get away with it, or we overprotect the alleged victims and cause some people to get unfairly burned in the process. Given the choice, I'm sure we all choose Side B, and he is one of the unfortunates who doesn't get a fair shake. We're all human, not just him, but also us who are judging an NFL prospect based on a teenage mistake.
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Jon
Very great story. Too bad not all the comments are mature but I guess that's expected. FWIW: May be the age of consent in Texas is 16 and she was 15.
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Jav1
Glad someone picked him up, Texas A&M Kingsville would never have sold their souls for a Sex Offender, guess it's just common at ACU....
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Chris
15 Year olds cannot give consent.
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Chris
State of TX considers 17 yrs to be the age of consent. He probably would not have been punished had it not been his sister.
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SaintsFan
The sad thing is, if he had murdered someone, his record would be wiped clean at 18 or 21. It was 2 kids...wrong that it was a sister, but 2 kids experimenting none the less. I am sure he will not be the only one in the NFL who has had sexual relations with a relative.
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Dee
Nice story and I cried. For those who keep wondering about the laws in Texas, I think you misunderstood the facts. We should be wondering about the laws in Louisiana. That's where this happened and why he must register as a sex offender in whatever state he lives. I, too, don't understand why a 16 yo has this dogging him for life and, apparently, the 15 yo doesn't. Makes no sense to this 40+ yo woman.
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FtBlfan
There are serious problems with laws that brand a kid for life for having consensual sex with another teenager, regardless of relation. Why wasn't the sister also considered an offender? I'm all for prootecting communities from true pedophiles, but this is absurd. Just like an 18 y/o who has sex with his 17 y/o girlfriend is labeled a rapist. Where's the justice? The laws need refining!
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buzzking
This is ESPN level or better reporting.
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Nem
I cant believe he didnt get drafted.... im really starting to hate our society, i hope this kid finds a way in and becomes an all star, he would be a great story if he became successful and would be inspirational to other people who have to deal with this insane sex offender laws in this country when they dont deserve it.... sex offender registries should ONLY include violent and dangerous offenders... this guy is no threat to anybody
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bearnet
I can`t believe this kid has not being given a chance as a UDFA. Its very sad that this awful story came out to humiliate him. God only knows what were the circumstances, for this to happened , probably poor parenting and low self esteem had a lot to do with it.. I'm not condoning it but... truth to be told not many of us are heralds of virtue at age of 16. C`mon give this kid a second chance in life. I won`t buy a piece of merchandise this season if no team doesn't sign him.. my small way to protest to something very unfair..
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Bucknutt
Do The NFL teams do background checks on there Scouts? Do you feel any NFL scouts have done something wrong like drunk driving? I also heard something earlier tonight about a scout commenting on the fullback from Stanford. He said the if he was black he would have been picked in the first round, not the second! Is that a fair statement??
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usabuffalofan
Draft is over and this man doesn't have a job. the Bible's Old testament is full of incestual relations, Adam and Eve's love alone proves this. What this man did was wrong for two reasons morally. The act itself is wrong, called fornication, noone is allowed to do this out of wedlock. Secondly, it is dangerous DNA wise, birth defects happen often and is the man reason it should never happen. Since he was a minor the criminal side should be a closed book, this is not rape or sexual assault. It is incest and is very private, we shouldn't know about this for his and the sisters safety. We can't possible understand what went wrong here. As people, we have no right to openly judge this man. He should have the right to move on without judgement. He has paid his due and has to live with this, as a society we should help him do this to make sure his life doesn't revert to a bad place. He has lived a tough life and obviously had some severe issues laid at his feet. We are compleled by Mike Oher for different reasons but to me this is a much bigger moral story that we should embrace and take to a higher cause. I must emphasis that some team out there should feel an obligation to help this man. We all have skeletons in our closets and because of this we should help this man if possible. His problems were exposed, imagine if something you had done was exposed to potential employers or the media, we would not survive either. I thank God nothing like this has happened in my family but that was because of Cristian faith, strict parents and luck, I still did somethings wrong. I am a lucky man to have a great career and life but some of that is luck, I never had to pay for some of the things I done as a stupid teenager!!!! Morally we need to forgive this, society wise he has paid his penalty.
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usabuffalofan
As long as those two got counseling, did their punishment and truely understand why that can't happen so when they have kids it doesn't repeat, we need to forgive. This isn't criminal, it is on the line of fornication and homosexuality with teens. If they understand why it was wrong and never behave that way again, I say it is a private matter and we don't need to react as fans. I wouldn't want my teen years to be looked at and decided who I am as a adult. This man and family needs to move on and we are very wrong by not letting him do this.
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suetiggers
It is truly disgusting to see how self-righteous and extremely hateful and ignorant some of these comments are. Thank goodness for the ones who seem to "get it" that this stuff happens, people can and do learn from their mistakes...the writers here who ASSUME he raped his sister are plain nuts, in my opinion. What is wrong with these people. There are so many people who are just crazy when it comes to these laws and any sex offenses. I certainly HOPE these laws get looked at more closely. They are so out of control and too few people seem to know or care. Youth, esp. ones engaging in consensual sex (yes, even inappropriately...they're young, remember?) who are put on the registry is the worst injustice. But there are SO many others who should not be, like the MAJORITY of people on there. But it is an amusing source for the curious and for nutjob vigilantes. What a disgrace this is. Taking one of the most extreme cases of harm to a child and applying the law to ANYONE who commits the slightest sexual behavior, such as urinating in public (and not trying to be seen but being seen), men who frequent an underage prositute who lied about her age but says it was consensual sex, men downloading porn that happens to have an adolescent in the package looking sexual...most could care less how old she is because she doesn't look 8 or 10. But these are men who would NOT be interested in a child. It SOUNDS terrible...to look at CHILD PORN but that can mean is this. WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA ??? It's like an obsession with sex and a hate for sex that appears to be driving these crazy crazy laws. And it has been ruining lives, not just the mostly men it catches in it's net, but their families and their children who suffer along with them. These laws got traction in the BUSH administration and the drama-driven media, esp. FOX and opportunistic politicians and overzealous states attorneys. Those people who are assuming the worst about this young man should look at themselves. If they're Christian, what kind of a Christian doesn't give someone a second chance. This was not rape. But some of these nuts just WANT to believe that. It is unreal. Get a life !!
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suetiggers
I certainly HOPE these laws get looked at more closely. They are so out of control and too few people seem to know or care. Youth who are put on the registry is the worst injustice. But there are SO many others who should not be, like the MAJORITY of people on there. But it is an amusing source for the curious and for nutjob vigilantes. What a disgrace this is. Taking one of the most extreme cases of harm to a child and applying the law to ANYONE who commits the slightest sexual behavior, such as urinating in public (and not trying to be seen but being seen), men who frequent an underage prositute who lied about her age but says it was consensual sex, men downloading porn that happens to have an adolescent in the package looking sexual...most could care less how old she is because she doesn't look 8 or 10. But these are men who would NOT be interested in a child. It SOUNDS terrible...to look at CHILD PORN but that can mean is this. WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA ??? It's like an obsession with sex and a hate for sex that appears to be driving these crazy crazy laws. And it has been ruining lives, not just the mostly men it catches in it's net, but their families and their children who suffer along with them. These laws got traction in the BUSH administration and the drama-driven media, esp. FOX and opportunistic politicians and overzealous states attorneys.
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suetiggers
Too many people react to stories like this without even thinking. The person who assumed it was RAPE is just nuts...and someone suggested the laws might be nuts. YES, indeed, they are. MOST on the registry, i.e. are not dangerous. This makes it easy for the Garridos, for the truly dangerous ones, to hide. And it's fodder for the totally crazy fanatics in the U.S. to get out the pitchforks to try to slaughter people who made a mistake, esp. when young. I say, if you're so clean, cast the first stone. But, I can't help but think these people are ignorant, hateful and don't have a life...so attacking people who made mistakes like this is what gets them off. Most on the registry are not dangerous. Let's get them off ! Do the right thing.
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Sports Guy
Enjoyable.......... life is all about a support system and sounds like Abilene was a great place for this trobled young man.ACU and its coaching staff are to be praised for their work.At least he is on firmer ground for the future and hopefully his choices will be wise! Guy Jones
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joe
The release of this info is very disturbing since both were juveniles. I would like to know who was responsible for the info to be released.
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Jenocean
Sex offenders registries are public information, Joe. Anyone can look them up. They are designed to let you know who the sex offenders are in your community, which is pertinent for dangerous offenders but seems ludicrous for a case like this.