Former Cowboy Arrested on Grapevine Rape Charge
Former Dallas Cowboy CJ Spillman has been indicted for the felony offense of Sexual Assault. Texas Sexual Assault charges have a penalty range of 2 to 20 years. Person can also been eligible for probation if they have never before been convicted of a felony.
Grapevine police allege that the assault occurred on September 20, 2014 at the Gaylord Texan Resort. A few hours after the assault Spillman flew to St. Louis with the Cowboys and participated in their games against the Rams. The Grapevine police investigated the allegation for several months before presenting their findings to a Tarrant County Grand Jury. Spillman turned himself in and posted a $15,000 bond on Wednesday morning.
Not many details are known but this type of allegation is going to be a “date rape“. Consent will be the only issue. This cases often go to trial and can present problems for the prosecution.
One issue that will be critical to the case is the timing of when this incident was reported to the police. Any “delayed outcry” will often help the defense and bring into question the accusers motives. If there is a delayed out cry the prosecution will often present an expert at trial to explain a rape victims mental condition and why she would have delayed reporting the crime.
The police will often obtain records of cell phone and texting data. Any communication between the two parties prior to the event and after the event is critical. This type of evidence can be quite damaging to an accused or helpful depending on the content. Text messages to friends can also be critical evidence.
The victim in this case has retained a high profile attorney from Las Angeles. The fact that a victim in a sexual assault case has retained an attorney can aid the accused. At trial a pending civil case or preparation for a civil case against a defendant may be admissible for cross-examination to show bias.
This will be an interesting case to follow and one very likely to go all the way to trial.