This seems pretty cut-and-dried: commit a sex offense, you don’t get to play high school football. Apparently, it’s not that straightforward, at least in Ohio, where a student “pleaded guilty to delinquency by gross sexual imposition in June after he was accused of rape by a then-17-year-old girl,” and school officials must still decide if he’ll be on the Vermilion Sailors roster when the season opens.
Shockingly, some members of the community are appalled that Vermilion’s very own version of Jesus Quintana could be allowed to suit up after he was convicted.
According to the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, the crime in question took place in May, 2007:
The ordeal began after a night of drinking among teenage friends in the basement at the boy’s house. His parents were home, but the teens started drinking after the adults went to bed. Three boys and three girls - including the boy’s sister and the victim - drank shots of rum and vodka, according to a police report.
As the drinking continued, the victim became sick and lay down on a couch on the first floor, according to the police report. She woke up with her pants off and the boy on top of her, having intercourse, according to the report.
The victim immediately accused the boy of raping her. The girl’s boyfriend arrived and took her home, where they told her parents what happened.
The perp was sentenced to participate in a sexual offender’s counseling and therapy program, and now it’s up to the school district to determine if he’ll be able to play football in between all the behavior modification classes.
The PLAIN DEALER reports that even though the crime didn’t happen on school grounds, the district’s policy states that “a student-athlete can be disqualified for any criminal activity,” at least to hear Superintendent Phillip Pempin tell it.
Pempin said Tuesday that he is still gathering facts and a decision is pending.
He has scheduled a meeting with the boy’s parents, who, along with the boy, want him to play football.
“We need to look first at our program, and what we stand for,” Pempin said. “I still need to be fair to the parents and to the student.”
Doesn’t seem like a very difficult decision, really. As the SPORTS POINT notes, this kid probably has bigger issues in his life right now than whether he’ll get to play football.