Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 May 2005

Sexual Assault Victim Angry at Dolphins' Signing

The Dolphins signed free-agent safety Abram Elam this week. Elam was convicted of felony sexual battery in connection with a March 2002 incident with a fellow student at Notre Dame. The victim says, "[The Dolphins] can expect a firestorm. They are going to be hit. ... They're in for a world of trouble."

Nick Saban has a different take: "We felt that the reason we would not give him an opportunity here was because it would be a public-relations nightmare. I didn't think that was really fair to him based on our research in what he has done to show he has learned his lesson and having done a very positive job in trying to get himself moving in the right direction."

My own feeling is that he got a ridiculously light sentence (18 months suspended, two years' probation and 200 hours of community service), but if the justice system says he's a free man, he should have the right to earn a living in his chosen field.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 20 May 2005

1 comment, Last at 12 Jun 2005, 8:12am by MDS


by MDS (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 8:12am

Of course I was kidding. But I was responding to the comment that said Jesuit schools "expressly forbid sex" and didn't say anything about an exception for married couples. My wife went to a Jesuit high school and now attends a Jesuit law school and tells me she's never heard of any such policy. My guess is it's one of those policies that was adopted a century ago, they've long since realized it's unenforceable, but they don't want to admit they were wrong and change it. Sounds like a lot of the teachings of the Catholic church. Thanks for the Bible verse; I had forgotten that one.

But I do wish more people would have responded to T.M.'s comments, or that T.M. would have responded to me. T.M. starts by telling us that we have our facts "very wrong" and then proceeds not to give a single example of an inaccurate statement anyone made. He tells us not to judge the perpetrator even though he feels free to judge the victim. He also seems to think sex among consenting adults is immoral if more than two people are present, and I was surprised to see that no one objected to that statement.

Our legal system is not well equipped to handle cases like these, where the evidence for the prosecution boils down to one person's word, and the evidence for the defense boils down to one person's word. I find it hard to believe, as the prosecution alleged, that a woman would choose to spend the night in a home where she had just been gang-raped. I also find it hard to believe, as the defense alleged, that a woman who was having consensual sex with a guy would decide, out of the blue, to invite his roommates to join in. So I don't know who to believe. I do think, though, that if Elam were as innocent as T.M. claims, one of the 12 jurors would have thought so.