Sports Stars Accused of Serious Crimes

Published July 18, 2003

| Associated Press

Some athletes charged in recent years with serious crimes:

KIRBY PUCKETT — The former Minnesota Twins star was acquitted by a jury in April of false imprisonment, fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and fifth-degree assault. A woman had accused him of dragging her into the men's room of a restaurant, forcing her into a stall and grabbing her breast hard enough to leave a bruise.

JAYSON WILLIAMS — Former star for the New Jersey Nets is awaiting trial in the shooting death of a limousine driver at his mansion in Alexandria Township, N.J., in 2002. Williams faces nearly 55 years in prison if convicted on all charges, the most serious of which is aggravated manslaughter.

MARK CHMURA — Green Bay Packers tight end, who was acquitted of second-degree sexual assault in 2001. A 17-year-old girl accused him of assaulting her in a bathroom during a post-prom party in 2000 in Waukesha, Wis.

RAY LEWIS — The Baltimore Ravens' star was charged with murdering two men in a January 2001 street fight outside an Atlanta nightclub after the Super Bowl, but the charge was dropped during a four-week trial, and Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice.

RAE CARRUTH — The Carolina Panthers' receiver was convicted in January 2001 of murder conspiracy in the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend in Charlotte, N.C. He also was convicted of shooting into an occupied vehicle and using a gun to try to kill the baby she was carrying. He was acquitted on a first-degree murder charge that could have brought the death penalty. He is serving a sentence of at least 18 years, 11 months.

O.J. SIMPSON — The football Hall of Famer was acquitted of murder after the 1994 slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, but a civil jury later held him liable and ordered him to pay the victims' survivors $33.5 million.

MIKE TYSON — The heavyweight champion served more than three years in an Indiana prison after being convicted in 1992 of rape and other charges. Prosecutors declined to file rape charges against him in August 2001 after a woman said she was sexually assaulted by the boxer in Southern California.

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