Hard Time: A History of Sexual-Assault Convictions in Sports

Hard Time: A History of Sexual-Assault Convictions in Sports


On Friday, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in a nightclub in Milledgeville(!?!!?), Ga. The accusation is the second in as many years for Big Ben, and while no charges have been filed yet, it's obviously not a good look. Most would say his chances of trading in the black-and-yellow for all-orange-everything are slim to none (and those Caucasoidal features surely won't hurt.) But we've done some research to find jocks (white and black) whose money and fame couldn't save them from serving time—anywhere from 18 months to life. Allow this to be a cautionary tale to Ben and other touchy-feely pros: a look back on athletes who've been convicted of sexual assaut...

Thomas-Hollywood-Henderson

THOMAS "HOLLYWOOD" HENDERSON, NFL
SENTENCE: 4 years, 8 months (1983)
CONVICTED OF: Sexual assaulting two teenage girls in L.A. after claiming to give them crack cocaine in exchange for consensual sex.
COMPLEX SAYS: Henderson was released after serving 28 months. He later admitted to using coke during the Cowboys' Super Bowl XIII loss, too. Helluva drug, yeah?

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Trevor-Berbick

TREVOR BERBICK, BOXER
SENTENCE: 4 years (1992)
CONVICTED OF: Sexually assaulting his children's babysitter in Florida.
COMPLEX SAYS: Berbick served 15 months and was deported to Canada following his release. Which was more humiliating: this case or this one at the hands of Iron Mike?

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Graham-Rix

GRAHAM RIX, ENGLISH FOOTBALL COACH AND FORMER PLAYER
SENTENCE: 1 year (1999)
CONVICTED OF: Indecent assault and unlawful sex with a 15-year-old, who was the daughter of a family friend.
COMPLEX SAYS: After serving six months, he immediately regained his position as assistant manager for Chelsea. They operate under different rules over there *cough* JT *cough*.

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Trevis-Smith

TREVIS SMITH, CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYER
SENTENCE: 6 years (2007)
CONVICTED OF: Aggravated sexual assault by knowingly infecting several Canadian women with the HIV virus.
COMPLEX SAYS: In February of 2009 he was deported back to the U.S. At sentencing Smith said, "I just want to say sorry for everything." And you thought Tiger's apology was underwhelming?

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mel-hall2

MEL HALL, MLB
SENTENCE: 45 years (2007)
CONVICTED OF: Sexual assaulting a 12-year-old girl he coached on a basketball team ten years earlier.
COMPLEX SAYS: Call him the Roman Polanski of baseball.

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Eddie-'Fast'-Johnson

EDDIE "FAST" JOHNSON, NBA
SENTENCE: Life (2008)
CONVICTED OF: Sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl after breaking into her family's apartment in Ocala, Florida.
COMPLEX SAYS: Not to be confused with the Eddie Johnson that used to rip shit with the Sonics.

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Marlon-King

MARLON KING, ENGLISH FOOTBALL PLAYER
SENTENCE: 18 months (2009)
CONVICTED OF: Sexual assault and causing bodily harm after breaking the nose of a 20-year-old woman when she tried to resist his groping in a London nightclub.
COMPLEX SAYS: Smash and grab? Where they do that at? The U.K., apparently.

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Tags: athletes-and-crime, ben-roethlisberger, pittsburgh-steelers, sexual-assault
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