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VT's Vick court ruling


3 Va. Tech Football Players Get Jail Time
Vick, Ex-Robinson Star Imoh, Hill Sentenced
By Ken Denlinger
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, May 15, 2004; Page D01

Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick and two teammates, one of them former Robinson High star Mike Imoh, were sentenced to jail time yesterday after being convicted in a Christiansburg, Va., court of three misdemeanor charges each of contributing to the delinquency of three underage girls during a late-night party.

Vick, brother of Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,250. He was found not guilty of a fourth charge, having sex with a 15-year-old girl. Vick's lawyer, Marc Long, told the Associated Press that he would file an appeal on Monday.

Imoh, a tailback, was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $750, and wide receiver Brenden Hill was sentenced to 20 days in jail and fined $1,500. Montgomery County (Va.) Juvenile and Domestic Judge Robert C. Viar Jr. said the players would be ordered to report to jail May 28.

A Virginia Tech spokesman said the school would have no official comment until "next week." Athletic Director Jim Weaver did not respond to a phone message.

Weaver will determine how much the convictions will affect the availability of the three players in the fall. All were slated for backup roles, Vick behind Bryan Randall and Imoh, ranked fifth nationally last season in kickoff returns with a 29-yard average, behind Cedric Humes. Hill was deep on the depth chart. He and Vick will be redshirt sophomores, Imoh a junior.

Vick was suspended one game last season by Coach Frank Beamer for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Misdemeanor convictions trigger a review by Weaver under the Comprehensive Action Plan the school put in place in 1997 after 22 arrests involving 19 football players during a 15-month period. After the review, Weaver could order suspensions or dismissal from the team. The school's Judicial Review Board can punish athletes independently of the Plan.

During the eight-hour trial, one of the girls wept as she recounted how she and two friends met the players at a Tech women's basketball game Jan. 27 and, after sneaking out of a house during a slumber party, went in Vick's sport utility vehicle to the apartment Vick and Hill share.

"I was scared," she said. "I didn't know what to do."

Another girl testified that she told the players she was 18, three years older than her actual age.

At the party, one of the girls testified, they were given shots of vodka and asked to strip and kiss each other. She said one of her friends had sex with Imoh and Hill and that Vick took the other girl into his room and had sex with her. Prosecutor Joey Showalter said he learned only recently of the allegations that Imoh and Hill had sex with one of the girls, the AP reported, and has not decided whether to pursue additional charges. The girl with whom Vick was accused of having sex refused to answer questions from defense lawyers, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Defense lawyers showed an 18-second video tape the players took that showed the girls giggling and kissing. Throughout, Long criticized the police definition of sexual intercourse. Judge Viar agreed, ruling there was no proof of penetration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company
I hear that. She's spending some Atlanta Falcons money right now. Even so, I don't see how she is allowed to plead the 5th unless she has some expectation of being charged with a crime. You can't just not testify. If that were the case, Michael Jackson would be free, oops.
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