A rookie for the New Orleans Saints is headed to jail after agreeing to a plea deal on charges of unlawful contact and sexual battery.
Defensive end Carl Granderson was sentenced to six months in jail for unlawful contact and one year of probation for sexual battery, Davis Potter of the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming reported Wednesday.
The story on Carl Granderson reaching a plea deal in his sexual battery case. Prosecutors have replaced the felony charge of third-degree sexual assault the former Wyoming football player was originally facing with unlawful contact, a misdemeanor.https://t.co/P3QdrgDiEY
— Davis Potter (@DavisEPotter) July 11, 2019
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Granderson went undrafted out of the University of Wyoming after playing four years there.
But he was invited to Saints minicamp and impressed Saints coaches, ESPN reported. So much so that the two-time All-Mountain West pick signed a three-year deal with New Orleans in April at the minimum salary level, according to ESPN. He played reps with the first-string in camp and had a good chance of making the team, the report said.
Back in May, after the Saints signed him, coach Sean Payton said the team was “comfortable” signing Granderson despite the fact he was facing a trial.
“We felt real comfortable with everything we knew, and so far he’s done a good job here,” Payton said, per The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Two women accused Granderson of unwanted physical contact last year while they slept at his apartment on Nov. 25 into the morning of Nov. 26.
“Wearing an all-black suit, Granderson dropped his head for long periods of time as his accusers spoke of the mental and physical toll they said the abuse has taken on their lives,” Potter wrote. One of the victims was a student-athlete at Wyoming.
Granderson was initially charged with one count of sexual assault, a felony, and one count of sexual battery. However, the former charge was changed to unlawful contact, a misdemeanor, in the plea deal, under which he pleaded no contest to the two charges, Potter reported.
His attorneys, as part of a plea deal, had sought a sentence of one year of unsupervised probation and a mental evaluation, Potter reported.
However, the judge rejected that deal and sentenced him to six months in jail on the unlawful contact charge. She also required him to immediately begin serving his sentence at the Albany County Detention Center in Laramie, Potter reported.
For the sexual battery charge, the judge gave Granderson one year of supervised probation after his six months in jail.
Saints officials told ESPN on Thursday that the team was aware of the sentence but had no further comment.
University of Wyoming acting President Neil Theobald released a statement on the matter to the Star-Tribune.
“I want to state unequivocally that UW does not tolerate bullying and harassment of students who report sexual misconduct,” Theobald said. “Everyone at the University of Wyoming recognizes the importance of sexual assault prevention and enforcement. We are dedicating significant additional resources, including four new staff positions in our NO MORE campaign, to prevent and respond to sexual assaults. One of those new positions will be housed in the Department of Athletics.”
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