Saturday, April 19, 2008

Penn State football player's rape charges dropped

Originally Published October 13th -

Austin Scott, a Penn State Nittany Lions tailback, has officially been charged with rape, sexual assault, and two counts of indecent assault, all felonies, for an incident with allegedly in the early hours of October 5th. Scott apparently met a woman at a bar, then went back to his apartment with her, and that's where the alleged rape occurred. Coach Joe Paterno suspended Scott for the Lions-Iowa game the next day for a then unspecified violation of team rules.

Scott, a 5th year senior, ran for 302 years and six touchdowns this season. Originally from Allentown, PA, he set state records of 3853 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns at Parkland High. During his freshman year back in 2003, he lead Penn State with 436 rushing yards before injuries slowed him.

Though Scott declined comment, his attorney, Joseph Amendola, claimed the sexual encounter with the alleged victim was consensual. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said that the incident would best be handled by the courts.

Scott was released on $50,000 bail, with one condition of bail being to stay away from the alleged victim. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. He remains enrolled at Penn State.

Brian's Comment: It is sad when there is more outrage over dogfighting charges against Michael Vick than when an athlete allegedly rapes a woman. You would think that a violation against a person would carry much more weight that a violation against a dog, henious that may be.

Coverage from The Centre Daily (Centre, PA)
ESPN coverage

Update (10-18-07) : After a preliminary hearing, Scott was ordered to stand trial on the rape charges, but two felony counts of indecent assault were dropped.

Second Update (10-24-07) Smith's accuser had previously filed a rape complaint four years ago to the month in 2003. A gag order, sought by the Centre County DA, was put in place by Judge Charles Brown Monday. It prohibits all parties involved in the case from further comment.

A comment which I believe in 100% was made by Audra Hixson, director of Penn State's Center for Women Students is below:

"I would say that for the victims of sexual assault who I work with, it is not uncommon that they have had an experience of that in the past," Hixson said. A statistic cited in the report is that women sexually abused as girls are 4.7 times more likely to be raped than women who haven't undergone child sexual abuse.

3rd Update (11-17-07) Scott has decided to plead not guilty and waive his arraignment. According to court officials, 90% of defendants waive arraignment.

4th Update (4-19-08) All charges have been dropped, because the judge was willing to let Scott's accuser be cros examined regarding similar allegations made in a second case in 2003.

Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler issued a ruling Tuesday saying he would allow the defense to cross-examine the accuser about her allegations in the Moravian case.In his written decision, Kistler cited 19 similarities between the two cases, including assertions that the woman never cried for help and that she kissed both men goodbye after intercourse, as reasons to allow questions about her 2003 allegations.

Assistant Centre County District Attorney Lance Marshall appealed Kistler's ruling to Pennsylvania Superior Court, using the argument that letting evidence of the 2003 charges and acquittal would damage their case. The court upheld the decision.

''In light of the likely admission of evidence we believe is irrelevant, as officers of the court, it is our position that there is no reasonable likelihood the commonwealth can meet its burden of proof.''

Only hours after rape and sexual assault charges against ex-Penn State running back Austin Scott were dropped Friday, his lead attorney compared the investigators to ''lynch mobs'' and said the NFL hopeful plans to sue law enforcement officials and his accuser.''It isn't a threat -- they were warned,'' lawyer John P. Karoly Jr. of South Whitehall said of a potential lawsuit.

''Are they justified in worrying about this? I think so.''Scott, who sat next to Karoly at a hastily called news conference at Bacio Italian Trattoria restaurant in Salisbury, said the legal ordeal was ''really devastating.''''I'm not going to lie,'' the 23-year-old Parkland High School graduate said. ''I'm a little bitter at the university and [the accuser for] the devastation it caused my career.''

No comments: