Saints rookie Carl Granderson has been sentenced to six months in jail for misdemeanor unlawful contact with two women while a student at the University of Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
The 22-year-old defensive lineman, who signed a free agent deal with the Saints in April, was originally charged with third-degree sexual assault and one count of sexual battery after two female students accused Granderson of unwanted contact while they slept at his Laramie apartment last November.
Granderson’s attorney and prosecutors had agreed to terms in which he would change his previous plea of not guilty to no contest on one count of sexual battery and one count of unlawful contact. He would have served one year of unsupervised probation and undergone mental health evaluation under terms of the deal.
But a district court judge on Thursday rejected the deal and ordered Granderson to immediately begin serving six months for unlawful contact. The judge also gave Granderson a one-year sentence on the battery charge, but that will be suspended with one year of probation after he completes his jail time.
Both victims made statements in court, with one saying she had been “harassed and bullied” by members of the UW football team, leading to her hospitalization for depression.
University of Wyoming President Neil Theobald issued a statement Thursday standing behind the victims, saying in part, “I want to state unequivocally that UW does not tolerate bullying and harassment of students who report sexual misconduct. Everyone at the University of Wyoming recognizes the importance of sexual assault prevention and enforcement.”
The Saints had been aware of Granderson’s situation. He had been expected to compete for a roster spot.
“We felt real comfortable with everything we knew, and so far he’s done a good job here,” Saints coach Sean Payton said (via NOLA.com) during the Saints rookie minicamp in May.