Rookie Saints DE sentenced to 6 months in jail

NFL

New Orleans Saints rookie defensive end Carl Granderson was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday after a judge rejected the terms of his plea agreement on sexual assault charges.

Granderson, who was accused of inappropriately touching two women while they slept at his apartment in 2018, went undrafted out of the University of Wyoming while facing charges of third-degree sexual assault and sexual battery.

It appeared that Granderson might avoid jail time on Thursday morning when he reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded no contest to lesser charges of sexual battery and unlawful contact. However, according to reports by the Casper Star Tribune and others, Judge Tori Kricken rejected the proposed deal of one year of probation and a mental evaluation. Granderson was ordered to immediately begin serving his sentence, and he was led away in handcuffs following a brief discussion with his attorney.

Granderson was also sentenced to one year in jail on the sexual battery charge, but that will be suspended with one year of supervised probation once he has completed his six months in jail, according to the Star Tribune.

Granderson, a two-time all-Mountain West selection, appeared to have a chance of making the Saints’ roster, since he spent some time with the first-string defense as an injury replacement during OTAs and minicamp and drew praise from coaches. The Saints guaranteed $85,000 of his salary, including a $15,000 bonus, when they signed him to a three-year deal at the minimum salary level.

When asked in May about the Saints’ decision to sign him, coach Sean Payton said they “felt real comfortable with everything we knew, and so far he’s done a good job here.”

The Saints said Thursday that they are aware of the latest developments but had no further comment.

Granderson’s alleged victims made statements against him Thursday during the court proceedings, which were described as emotional. According to the Star Tribune, they both said they were under the impression that Granderson was going to plead guilty to the new charges instead of no contest.

One of the alleged victims, who was identified as a University of Wyoming athlete, said she was hospitalized for depression and suicidal thoughts after being “harassed and bullied” by members of UW’s football team and Granderson’s girlfriend, according to the Star Tribune.

“He’s 100 percent guilty,” she said, according to the Star Tribune. “I literally almost lost my life because of him. I want him to face every consequence he can get.”

Granderson’s girlfriend, a UW track athlete named Ja’la Henderson, said in her own statement that Granderson has never been inappropriate with her and has never been accused of this type of behavior, according to the Star Tribune.

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