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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Nate Webster was convicted Wednesday of four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
The charges apparently involved the teenage daughter of a former assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, whom Webster played for in 2004-05.
According to reports, the jury deliberated for about six hours before reaching the verdict. They found him not guilty of three other sexually motivated crimes – gross sexual imposition, sexual battery and a fifth count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Prosecutors claim Webster, 34, had sexual contact with the girl in 2009 when she was 15 and threatened to harm her if she told anyone.
Webster allegedly admitted to having sex with the girl the next year, when she was 16, which is the legal age of consent in Ohio. He denied that the sexual relationship began earlier than that.
After the verdict, Webster was taken into custody.
Webster’s attorney said they plan to file an appeal after sentencing.
His attorney believes the girl lied when she said she was 15 at the time she and Webster started having sex.
Prosecutors argued that Webster told police he had sex with the girl when she was 15. Tapes of those interviews were played in court, but Webster’s attorney says Webster was confused about the dates in his earlier statements.
Sentencing has been scheduled for June 6.
The former NFL player could be facing up to 20 years in prison. If he had been convicted on all counts, he could be looking at up to 36.5 years in prison.
A prosecutor’s spokesman claims the former Bucs player turned down a plea deal offered before the trial began that would have required him to serve four years behind bars.
Webster played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2000-03 and for the Bengals in 2004-05. He ended his NFL career with the Denver Broncos from 2006-08.
Once a conviction is final, it can be difficult to reverse. However, in certain situations, it may be entirely possible to get post-conviction relief through the appeals process. If you have been wrongfully convicted of a sex crime, a Florida Criminal Appeals Attorney can guide you through your best options.
Unfortunately, sex crimes convictions carry a stigma that can long outlive the sentence. Along with a substantial amount of time behind bars, you may be forced to register as a sex offender. Everyone makes mistakes, and even judges, prosecutors and juries don’t always get everything right. If you were convicted of a sex crime in Florida by trial, you have the right to appeal the conviction and sentence. Keep in mind that you can still file for a petition for appeal even if you accepted a plea agreement.
The Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton realize the impact a “guilty” verdict can have on your life. Knowing the law and your rights can make a positive difference in the outcome of your case. We take the time to carefully review every facet of your case, weigh your defense options and honestly assess your case to determine if a successful appeal is likely. At Whittel & Melton, we stay focused on your rights and future by exploring every possible defense strategy available.
If you, or someone you know, wishes to appeal a sex crimes conviction anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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