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(USA Today)   Bad: Pro athlete is convicted of a crime. Worse: His "community service" may include simply signing autographs. Fark.com: He's provided free limo service   (usatoday.com) divider line 36
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9274 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 May 2006 at 8:47 PM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



36 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
2006-05-05 02:12:22 PM
See, the funny thing is, having to give away autographs for free would probably piss him off more than having to pick up litter or work a school crossing.

Funny? Sad, actually.
 
2006-05-05 05:19:02 PM
i loved watching PTI and Around the Horn when they showed the NASCAR "first pitch" highlight and all went on to say "I told you, they are NOT athletes"
even the drivers themselves say they aren't.

agree 100%
 
2006-05-05 08:08:51 PM
So I guess when Chris Henry has to serve his community service, they'll fly him (along with a couple of strippers) to judge the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, then when he gets back, they'll give him a couple of Glocks for his trouble.

/who dey
 
2006-05-05 08:52:35 PM
You see the rich have their own seperate form of justice as opposed to us peaseants, welcome to the new 21st century America, there is no more middle class, just the Haves and the barely getting bye or worse.
 
2006-05-05 08:53:54 PM
wow, forced to sign autographs for raping a 14 year old. at least he didn't have to marry her.


/wife wouldn't let him
//double thread ref.
 
2006-05-05 08:56:57 PM
Bad: This headline. Worse: The overkill on using Bad-Worse-Fark.com. Fark.com: Well, it's popular enough to get you greenlit, I guess.

Pro athletes either love or loathe autograph signings. There's no real middle ground. However, even if he hates doing autograph sessions, I still think that he should get some other punishment.
 
2006-05-05 09:00:45 PM
arched:
wow, forced to sign autographs for raping a 14 year old. at least he didn't have to marry her.

Whoa, this isn't rape. Statuatory rape is CONSENSUAL. Its illegal to have sex with minors. The word rape is misleading.
 
2006-05-05 09:00:51 PM
Franco: You see the rich have their own seperate form of justice as opposed to us peaseants,


images.ibsys.com

Franco's mug shot.

/I said I DO want fries with that Franco!
 
2006-05-05 09:00:58 PM
Man, things have come a long way since Jim Brown [terrorist threats (though what he did was yell at his wife and bust up one of their cars), 2002]; he had the choice of either serving 3 months or receiving counseling and picking up trash along the highway.

He chose prison.
 
2006-05-05 09:06:20 PM
This makes me both sick and disgusted. Sex with 14 year-olds, drunk driving, hit and runs, vehicular manslaughter(!), for this kind of crap they get a slap on the wrist and they have to do basically what they do every farking day?! This is just...beyond rage. And my parents wonder why I'm already so jaded.
 
2006-05-05 09:06:20 PM
Celebs, athletes, & Kennedy's.

It's good to be the king.
 
2006-05-05 09:07:09 PM
That is one ugly motherfarker.
 
2006-05-05 09:11:29 PM
tandy Whoa, this isn't rape. Statuatory rape is CONSENSUAL. Its illegal to have sex with minors. The word rape is misleading.

Dude, she was farking 14. That's like 8th or 9th grade. She was in no position to give consent for anything.
 
2006-05-05 09:16:37 PM
Silly farkers, children don't have rights.
 
2006-05-05 09:17:14 PM
farking atheletes should be kept in suspended animation as soon as their game is over. Take 'em off the field, plunk 'em in a plastic tube, zone out their brainwaves, done with it.

That, because a bullet to the brain is a waste of good metal.
 
2006-05-05 09:19:22 PM
tandy
it was in reference to the earlier thread where everyone was freaking out about the Indian who was going to marry the 14 yr old he raped.... ...if it happens here, you sign autographs.

secondly, she was 14. Can you imagine yourself taking a 14 yr old even if she suggested it.... ....ugh.

/rather have one 30 yr old from Vegas than 70 virgins.
 
2006-05-05 09:20:41 PM
Mother farker. I'm sick of this goddamned shiat. I'm good and drunk and farkin' sick of it. These bastards.
 
2006-05-05 09:39:57 PM
tandy: Whoa, this isn't rape. Statuatory rape is CONSENSUAL. Its illegal to have sex with minors. The word rape is misleading.

No, it's not. A minor cannot legally give consent, thus, it is rape.
 
2006-05-05 09:46:04 PM
And yet the most important things on politicians' minds are flavored tobacco and alcohol inhalers... Yeesh

/triple thread ref arched.!
//meh
 
2006-05-05 09:50:49 PM
Rape!
R-a-a-a-pe!
Raa-aa-aa-pe!

A pretty rape!
A literary rape!

We've the obvious open schoolboy rape,
With little mandolins and perhaps a cape.
The rape by coach; it's little in request.
The rape by day, but the rape by night is best.

Just try to see it.
And you will soon agree, seсors,
Why
Invite regret,
When you can get the sort of rape
You'll never ever forget.

You can get the rape emphatic.
You can get the rape polite.
You can get the rape with Indians:
A very charming sight.
You can get the rape on horseback;
They'll all say it's new and gay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
It depends on what you
Pay.

The kids will love it.
It depends on what you pay!
So why be stingy?
It depends on what you --

The spectacular rape,
With costumes ordered from the East.
Requires rehearsal
And takes a dozen men at least.
A couple of singers,
And a string quartet.
A major production.
Requires a set.

Sounds expensive!

Just try to see it.
And you will soon si,si seсors,
Why
Invite regret,
When you can get the sort of rape
You'll never ever forget.

You can get the rape emphatic.
You can get the rape polite.
You can get the rape with Indians:
A very charming sight.
You can get the rape on horseback;
They'll all say it's new and gay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
It depends on what you
Pay.

So why be stingy?
It depends on what you pay!
The kids will love it.
It depends on what you --

The comic rape.
Perhaps it's just a trifle too unique.
Romantic rape:
Done while canoeing on a moonlit creek.
The gothic rape!
I play "Valkyrie" on a bass bassoon!
The drunken rape.
It's done completely in a cheap saloon.

The rape Venetian
Needs a blue lagoon.
The rape with moonlight
Or without a moon.
Moonlight is expensive but it's in demand.
The military rape:
It's done with drummer and a band.

You understand?
I understand.
It's very grand.
It's very grand.
It's done with drums and a great big brass band!
Yeah!

Just try to see it.
I see it!
I see it!
And you will soon si,si seсors,
Why
Invite regret,
When you can get the sort of rape
You'll never ever forget.

You can get the rape emphatic.
You can get the rape polite.
You can get the rape with Indians:
A very charming sight.
You can get the rape on horseback;
They'll all say it's new and gay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
Depends on what you pay.
Depends on what you pay.
Depends on what you pay.
Depends on what you pay.


So why be stingy?
It depends on what you pay!
The kids will love it.
It depends on what you

Ra-aa-aa-pe!
Ole!
 
2006-05-05 09:54:05 PM
secor = señor
 
2006-05-05 10:04:10 PM
"The hardest thing for an athlete to do is subject themselves to menial tasks," he adds.

I've told dozens of my ex-bosses the same thing.
 
2006-05-05 10:11:40 PM
Quick1
So a 14 year old can't consent to sex but can get life for murder. I'd hate to be 14 in the US, seems like there are no positive aspects.
 
2006-05-05 10:35:45 PM
Pro athletes are over-privileged douchebags.

That is all.
 
2006-05-05 10:42:29 PM
Quadruplator: So a 14 year old can't consent to sex but can get life for murder.

Compare apples to oranges much?
 
2006-05-05 10:55:28 PM
To say nothing, of course, that about a hundred to a hundred fifty years ago, it was common for 14 year olds to have a kid already, or to be starting a family..

Of course, we all know that our country has been "dumbed down" so that now all the 14 year olds can no longer consent to anything.

Never mind, also, that your typical 14 year old girl is already either going down on her boyfriend or farking him.. seriously, at this point. Go spend a day in a typical public high school.
 
2006-05-05 10:59:06 PM
Well no doubt, the way people lived 150 years ago is the model we should apply to life in the present. What a great argument.
 
2006-05-05 10:59:34 PM
If there's grass on the field, play ball. Just sayin'.
 
2006-05-05 11:37:11 PM
Unbelievable.
 
2006-05-06 12:08:00 AM
I was raped with joy at the verdict.

/I GOT A FREE AUTOGRAPH BAAYYYYBBYYYYYYY YES!!
 
2006-05-06 12:23:36 AM
Just as a point of information, Stevenson was only 19 at the time of the incident. Not sure if that makes a difference.
 
2006-05-06 01:01:06 AM
MycroftHolmes: Just as a point of information, Stevenson was only 19 at the time of the incident. Not sure if that makes a difference.

No. It doesn't.
 
2006-05-06 01:54:27 AM
Quadruplator: So a 14 year old can't consent to sex but can get life for murder. I'd hate to be 14 in the US, seems like there are no positive aspects.



The US is retarded when it comes to assigning an age of adulthood... one of my personal favorites is in many states you will be charged as an adult criminal for underage drinking, because you are not adult enough to drink
 
2006-05-06 09:59:14 AM
"We treat athletes better because they're better people."
 
2006-05-06 03:25:36 PM
That's all he got for having sex with a 14 year old?
 
2006-05-08 10:51:08 AM
Athletes lightly punished after their day in court

Updated 5/4/2006 12:11 PM ET

By Michael McCarthy and Jodi Upton, USA TODAY

It reads like the diary of a pro athlete: picked up by car service in Manhattan, N.Y., at 1 p.m.; whisked to dinner at a basketball camp in Teaneck, N.J.; posed for pictures and signed autographs; delivered motivational speech; back in New York City by 11.

But this isn't a typical celebrity schedule. It's the probation record for NBA player DeShawn Stevenson, showing how he served his criminal sentence of court-ordered community service for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl in 2001.

For non-celebrities, court-ordered community service typically involves collecting roadside trash, digging ditches on road crews or cleaning public parks. But Stevenson and other professional athletes have been allowed to fulfill their criminal sentences before star-struck audiences, signing autographs or making public appearances sometimes arranged by their own teams.

USA TODAY examined the cases of the 40 pro athletes sentenced to community service from 2001 through early 2006, gleaned from multiple databases. Their crimes: assaulting fans, cops, wives and girlfriends; sex with minors; drunken driving; hit-and-run; possession of illegal drugs; carrying concealed weapons; firing pistols in public; and vehicular homicide.

In 24 of the 28 cases in which the community service assignment could be determined, it involved activities such as throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, posing for pictures or attending or coaching at youth sports camps.

Four of the 28 athletes served punishments that involved the kind of menial labor typically required of non-celebrity defendants. In most of the 12 cases in which the community service could not be determined, courts or probation agencies had sealed or destroyed the records; in two such cases, the punishment had not been decided because the courts had not set it or the athletes had not chosen how to fulfill the requirement.

Court-ordered community service should not be confused with the volunteer work Stevenson and other athletes generously perform for charities in their spare time, though they may look alike. It's a criminal sentence mostly used in misdemeanor cases to punish first-time or non-violent offenders.

Defendants sentenced to community service, regardless of celebrity status, often can pick when, where and how they serve it, sometimes with little oversight.

NASCAR driver Kurt Busch was pulled over in November by Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff's deputies. Busch became belligerent, calling the deputies "punks" who "should be directing traffic somewhere," according to the sheriff's report. Busch, who had just signed a major sponsorship deal with Miller Lite, refused to complete what he called their "gay-ass" field sobriety test. Busch passed breath tests that night and later apologized to the deputies. In February he made a plea deal on misdemeanor and civil charges.

Busch was sentenced to 50 hours of community service, fined $580 and given seven points on his license after he admitted to speeding, following too closely and passing in a no-passing zone. (At eight points, the state can suspend a driver's license or require attendance at driving school.)

For his community service, Busch, as part of a charity fundraising effort, signed autographs and threw out the first pitch for a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants in April, according to his attorney, Lee Stein. Busch also donated $10,000 worth of baseball equipment to the Westside Recreation League in Avondale, Ariz. And he will pay all production and media costs to air a public service TV commercial with himself and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, warning about the perils of reckless driving.

Balancing act

Community service is applied so "mindlessly" it's doing little for communities or defendants, says Gordon Bazemore, professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University and a nationally recognized expert on community service. "Nobody really takes it seriously. It's the most abused, and misused, of all the sanctions out there."

Prosecutors counter they have to balance punishments for breaking the law with assignments that help the most people, particularly kids.

The prosecutor in Busch's case, Michael Morrison, says, "Because of his unique status and the nature of his sport ... he's a good person to talk about safe driving. It's indicative of his remorse."

Stevenson's statutory rape case occurred at a motel in his hometown of Fresno. Bob Ellis, assistant district attorney for Fresno County, says it was up to the judge to decide whether to try the case as a felony or misdemeanor. Superior Court Judge Dale Ikeda chose to try the case as a misdemeanor. After Stevenson pleaded no contest, Ikeda sentenced him to 100 hours of community service, two years of probation and a $1,100 fine.

Stevenson served 103 hours as a celebrity guest/counselor at six youth basketball camps, according to court documents obtained by USA TODAY. He got those assignments, according to the records, because Darren "Mats" Matsubara, his longtime adviser and a paid consultant for shoe and apparel manufacturer Adidas, arranged them as his "community service coordinator."

In 2000, Matsubara advised the young player to jump to the NBA directly from high school, which Stevenson did, becoming a first-round draft pick of the Utah Jazz.

Lack of oversight

Stevenson served 50 hours greeting players and helping at two of Matsubara's Fresno-based events: the Mats Madness tournament and the Lil' Bow Wow celebrity game. He served another 10 hours at hoops guru Sonny Vaccaro's camp for elite high school basketball players in New Jersey, which he commuted to in the car service paid for by the camp.

Vaccaro, who has consulted for Reebok and Adidas, says Stevenson helped register attendees and kept score for games at the camp. It "took guts" for Stevenson to perform humbling duties in front of his peers, he says. "The hardest thing for an athlete to do is subject themselves to menial tasks," he adds.

The Jazz, meanwhile, arranged for Stevenson to be credited with 24 hours at a three-day youth basketball camp. The team also provided him expenses of $60 a day.

Matsubara counted 27 hours in travel time to and from the various camps among Stevenson's total hours. Ellis said prosecutors never saw the documents that counted Stevenson's travel time as community service hours - a lack of oversight common in many misdemeanor cases. "We clearly would have said no," Ellis said.

Stevenson, who now plays for the Orlando Magic, declined comment through Magic spokesman Joel Glass. Ikeda, the judge, said in a statement issued by Superior Court spokeswoman Sherry Spears that "judicial ethics" precluded him from commenting. Matsubara did not return several phone calls and e-mails to his Las Vegas office.

It is common for athletes and their representatives to avoid speaking about such matters. NHL player Todd Bertuzzi's agent, Pat Morris, says it's "not important" whether his client completed his sentence of 80 hours of community service. Bertuzzi broke Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore's neck in an on-ice attack during a March 2004 game in Vancouver. (Canadian privacy laws keep records sealed.) Moore has not played since and probably will not return to professional hockey.

"Let's write about Todd Bertuzzi the hockey player," Morris says. "Let's write about good things rather than the things the media likes to write about."

Very few go to trial

Only 5% of the athletes whose cases were studied went to trial. With the money to hire top lawyers, almost all reached plea bargains or agreed to a pretrial diversion program. In these programs, no plea is required and charges are dismissed once community service is completed and fines are paid. In some cases, records are then expunged.

Plea bargains typically involved prosecutors throwing out felonies in return for guilty or no-contest pleas to misdemeanors or lesser charges. Often, the sentences were some combination of community service, probation, fines and anger-management counseling.

"It's fair to assume athletes get better deals because they have the money to pay for the best defense attorneys," says Tom Fitten, president of the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Some athletes have done community service twice. As a student at the University of Washington in 2001, now-Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens pleaded guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges for crashing his vehicle into a retirement home and then fleeing the scene.

He completed 240 hours of community service by refurbishing an elderly citizen's home, serving food at a senior center and performing clerical work at a drug/alcohol non-profit, according to Julie Johnson of Seattle Municipal Court.

But just before his two-year probation expired, Stevens was charged with driving while intoxicated, according to Kirk Davis, assistant attorney for the City of Seattle. In the NFL by then, Stevens pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

Davis recommended 10 days in jail for violating probation. "I said, 'Judge, he needs to be woken up. He's not getting it,' " Davis recalls.

Seattle Municipal Court Judge Theresa B. Doyle gave Stevens five days in jail and another 40 hours of community service in 2003. This time he worked at a local high school promoting and organizing a weeklong youth camp, Johnson says.

Community service and related sentences can have a positive effect on athletes who get in trouble.

While playing with the Los Angeles Kings' minor league team in Manchester, N.H., in 2003, defenseman Joe Corvo pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman in a bar in Boston. He was sentenced to 30 hours of community service, 50 hours of anger-management counseling and three years of probation.

Corvo credits the anger-management therapy with helping him deal with bottled-up anger in his personal life and frustration over not making the NHL sooner. Now one of the Kings' regulars, he says, "It was a life-changing experience."

Paying in other ways

What can be done to make court-ordered community service more equitable and effective?

The threat of leagues taking away their salary, or career, has "a much greater deterrent impact" on athletes than fines of a few thousand dollars or even a short stint in jail, says John Pietrofesa, the Oakland County (Mich.) assistant prosecutor who helped handle cases stemming from the fight between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons spectators at a game in November 2004.

Five Pacers received community-service sentences for their roles in the fight.

Another solution would be "scaled penalties" under which richer defendants pay much steeper fines and poorer defendants pay smaller fines, says Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project research group.

Even if athletes escape the toughest punishments, they pay in other ways. Then-Pacers forward Ron Artest lost nearly $5 million (of his $6.2 million salary in 2004-05) because of a 73-game suspension levied by NBA Commissioner David Stern, who threatened him with banishment from the league.

Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks lost $502,000 of his $2 million 2003-04 salary because of his suspension by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for attacking Moore.

Busch was suspended for the final two races of last season by then-team owner Jack Roush.

Even if some pro athletes appear to manipulate the community service system, it can be a humbling experience. They go through the humiliation of being arrested and reporting to a probation officer. They know if they slip up, authorities can send them to prison.

"Community service is not fun - no matter how charitable it sounds," Fitten says.
 
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