Former NFL running back Dave Meggett, who spent six years with the Giants, three with the Patriots, and one with the Jets, will be spending three times the duration of his NFL career behind bars.
A jury convicted Meggett Wednesday of burglary and criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to 30 years in jail.
Meggett allegedly raped a college student at her North Charleston, South Carolina home in January 2009. Though he didn’t testify, Meggett’s lawyer told the jury during closing arguments that Meggett admitted to having sex with the woman, “but the two were friends and had a sexual agreement as repayment for debt.” (It sounds like a rejected Seinfeld story idea.)
The victim testified that the pair previously had a drunken sexual encounter, that she indeed owed Meggett (she knew him as “Mike”) $200, and that she awoke one night to find him at the foot of her bed.
He asked for the money, she said she didn’t have it, and “he told me he was going to take a down payment now.”
She said that Meggett “grabbed her throat, pinned her arm behind her back and had forcible intercourse with her.”
With many rape cases involving a he said/she said conflict of facts, Meggett’s decision not to rebut her testimony was disastrous. If he claims that the victim offered to have sex as a partial down payment on the debt, Meggett needed to take the witness stand and say so. The fact that they’d previously had consensual sex would have helped create reasonable doubt.
Though Meggett’s lawyer says an appeal will be filed, this one looks to be open and shut.
That said, the sentence seems excessive; it’s possible that an appeal could reduce the total time behind bars.
Until then, we predict that multiple inmates will be breaking out their best Chris Berman voices in the shower room.