Domestic violence is a major issue in Texas as well as across the United States. It’s also a problem among some of America’s highest paid stars in the National Football League.
Headlines linking leading football players to alleged acts of domestic violence are plentiful.
In 2015, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown was charged with assaulting Molly, his wife at the time.
The New York Times cited police reports that alleged Brown assaulted her nearly two dozen times, including at least once when she was pregnant.
Brown was arrested in May 2015. He was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence. The charge was later dismissed. Brown was suspended for the opening game the season, instead of the baseline six games the NFL usually levies for a first domestic violence offense.
The Brown allegations resurfaced in news stories in October 2016 when the player admitted domestic violence in letters, emails, and a journal, according to police documents.
The Giants said they were unaware of Brown’s writing and had not read or heard about them before their release.
The revelations again raised questions about how seriously the league takes domestic violence. The league said it investigated the matter for 10 months, sending in a crack investigative team.
Players who have been accused of domestic violence and sexual assault include:
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer
On Sept. 17, 2014, Dwyer was reportedly arrested for domestic violence offenses and charged with aggravated assault against his wife and 18-month-old child.
Dallas Cowboys Receiver Dez Bryant
Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in Texas after he allegedly assaulting his mother. A judge later dropped the charges on condition he attend anger management counseling.
Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice
Rice was arrested in 2014 after a fight in Atlantic City with his fiancée. Video footage showed him dragging her out if an elevator while she was unconscious.
The player was indicted on third-degree aggravated assault charges, but he pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced under a pre-trial intervention initiative for first-time offenders. The NFL initially suspended him for two games but he received an indefinite suspension when more video evidence was obtained.
Former Dallas Cowboys Player C.J. Spillman
The former Cowboys special-teams player was sentenced to five years in prison last year over a sexual assault charge from a 2014 incident at a Dallas hotel.
Grapevine police said a woman reported that Spillman raped her in September 2014, at the Gaylord Texan Resort, where he was staying at the time.
Domestic violence offenses are taken very seriously in Texas. You can read more about the law in Texas here on our website. If you are charged with domestic violence in Texas, it’s important to hire an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445.