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Titans receiver is the victim of alleged extortion

Eugene+Wilson+Damian+Williams+OmpjMr_4iOVm Getty Images

Whenever a pro athlete is accused of doing something he shouldn’t have done to another person, the athlete often claims that the alleged victim is trying to make a quick buck.  In the case of Titans receiver Damian Williams, that’s precisely what was happening.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that 22-year-old Shelly Ann David has been charged with attempting to extort $5,000 from Williams.  David had filed a domestic relations complaint against Williams earlier this month, after she claimed that Williams had grabbed her arms during an argument, causing bruising.  (The bruising was confirmed, but Williams disputed the accusations.)  After authorities learned that David had sent text messages to Williams offering not to pursue the matter in exchange for a cash payment, Williams offered $5,000 — and David offered to sign a note indicating that she would not pursue the matter.

“Damian Williams, in the presence of detectives, placed a phone call to Shelley David this morning and arranged for a meeting,’’ Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said, per Wyatt.  “David received a $5,000 cashier’s check from Williams and gave him a signed note saying she would not appear in any court proceedings against him.  At that point she was taken into custody.”

So how is this any different than David hiring a lawyer to negotiate a confidential settlement of case, which would have included an agreement not to file suit or press charges or talk about the situation?  It’s not as if David is fabricating a claim of rape or something particularly heinous.  She claimed that Williams caused bruising on her arms, and she had bruising on her arms.

Also, her willingness to sign a document indicating that she wouldn’t appear in any court proceedings indicates a lack of intent to break the law — or the presence of a high degree of stupidity.  (Or possibly both.)

Thus, absent proof that she inflicted the bruises on her own arms, it could be that David’s only crime came from her failure to hire a lawyer to legitimize the process of settling the matter.

UPDATE:  Williams’ counsel has sent a statement to PFT on his client’s behalf. “It is an unfortunate fact that professional athletes are vulnerable as targets for those who would exploit them for economic gain,” the statement reads.  “Regrettably, Mr. Williams was threatened and wrongfully accused in an attempt to gain leverage over him.  Mr. Williams has cooperated with law enforcement from the outset of the investigation and they have his full support moving forward.”

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23 Responses to “Titans receiver is the victim of alleged extortion”
  1. tubal22 says: Jun 27, 2011 8:05 PM

    So now she can press charges right?

  2. trbowman says: Jun 27, 2011 8:16 PM

    News on a Titans receiver not named Kenny Britt?

    Wow.

  3. nnagi says: Jun 27, 2011 8:16 PM

    she didn’t want to pay the lawyer 33%…

  4. steeltown82 says: Jun 27, 2011 8:17 PM

    I can’t wait til one of these headlines reads that the lockout is over! I want to read something actually about football.

  5. Soulman45 says: Jun 27, 2011 8:22 PM

    Got to follow this case to see how it pain out.

  6. backindasaddle says: Jun 27, 2011 8:27 PM

    I look at this as a settlement between the two people. He hurt her and now he’s agreeing to compensate her for her damages. Her agreeing to sign the note of no future court actions simply means both parties are agreeing to final determination and settlement of the issue.

    I don’t see this one as extortion….although $5000 seems an awful lot for some arm bruises.

    A good example of actual extortion: Jessie Jackson threatens large corporations to publicly label them as racist companies if the don’t pay him and his organization huge money for racial sensitivity training.

  7. hobartbaker says: Jun 27, 2011 8:28 PM

    You can’t extort a turd. Case dismissed.

  8. Soulman45 says: Jun 27, 2011 9:07 PM

    backindasaddle said on Titans receiver is the victim of

    I don’t see this one as extortion….although $5000 seems an awful lot for some arm bruises.

    A good example of actual extortion: Jessie Jackson threatens large corporations to publicly label them as racist companies if the don’t pay him and his organization huge money for racial sensitivity training.

    Good post he been doing it for a life time.

  9. alewatcher says: Jun 27, 2011 9:11 PM

    So how is this different from what a lawyer does?

  10. benh999 says: Jun 27, 2011 9:44 PM

    Seriously?

    Intent to commit a crime is not the same as familiarity with the statute one is violating.

    If I “intend” to drive my car 60 miles per hour while not realizing the speed limit is 55, I am still breaking the law, albeit a civil violation rather than criminal, but that is beside the point.

  11. lostsok says: Jun 27, 2011 9:44 PM

    Threatening to inform someone of a misdeed unless a payment is made IS extortion. She was breaking the law, pure and simple.

    Those of you commenting otherwise should hit Google and do some research first. It comes down to how you word it, and the purpose is to stop organized crime from “protection” rackets. However, it applies to everyone. You cannot say, “You did this, so you owe me that…and I’m gonna tell if you don’t pay up.”

    You CAN say, “You did this, and you owe me that…please pay me.” If the person fails to pay, you can file a civil complaint.

    THAT’S how you legally pursue an alleged debt.

    We have a legal system for a reason. You must in a democracy, or you cannot HAVE a democracy. Recourse to the law is as essential as any other protected right.

    She may have simply been ignorant of that highly important nuance…but she was CRIMINALLY ignorant.

  12. lostsok says: Jun 27, 2011 9:45 PM

    “So how is this different from what a lawyer does?”

    Simple: she was trying to apply justice without the correct adjudication (a judge, mainly).

    That is illegal.

  13. lostsok says: Jun 27, 2011 9:49 PM

    “So now she can press charges right?”

    Technically…yes. Although I would guess she has compromised her case by more than hinting that payment, rather than justice or protection from further harm, were her motives. I’m guessing without a witness she would never see it go to trial.

  14. NFLJunkie says: Jun 27, 2011 10:52 PM

    …or, you know, maybe she couldn’t or wouldn’t find a lawyer willing to take the case, if her claims were not real.

    Seems like there’s got to be something that convinced police that Williams was the credible one here, and that her complaint was false.

  15. transam7816 says: Jun 27, 2011 11:57 PM

    Yea..that is extortion. And for only $5,000…that’s weak sauce

  16. skoobyfl says: Jun 27, 2011 11:59 PM

    One minute people want a lawyer, the next minute the Players are better off alone. I think that the world needs lawyers, like the Romans did.

  17. diablito0402 says: Jun 28, 2011 12:47 AM

    Ray lewis was right, weird things happen when theres no football, end the lockout greety players.

  18. hobartbaker says: Jun 28, 2011 1:07 AM

    She probably refused to get into the trunk of the car or something.

  19. hedleykow says: Jun 28, 2011 4:08 AM

    soulman45 / backindasaddle

    “soulman45″ appears to have an alter ego named “backindasaddle.”

    Notice the identical comments above.

    Or maybe they’re just from the same clan [sic].

    Now we know why it seems like this place is overrun with homers. There are two dozen homers with thirty identities each.

  20. kevinfromphilly says: Jun 28, 2011 8:09 AM

    Lawyers are no dummies – anything that cuts them out of the loop is a crime.

  21. tntitansfan10 says: Jun 28, 2011 8:58 AM

    I deserve $5k for having to watch WIlliams past couple of seasons. Stay thirsty my friends

  22. NFLJunkie says: Jun 28, 2011 9:07 AM

    “So now she can press charges right?”

    Technically…yes. Although I would guess she has compromised her case by more than hinting that payment, rather than justice or protection from further harm, were her motives. I’m guessing without a witness she would never see it go to trial.
    ————–

    She already did press charges/file a complaint for the alleged assault. In the course of investigating, the police turned their focus to the alleged extortion, and have since dismissed the complaint against Williams.

    There were reportedly other witnesses present at the time of the alleged assault, so I’m guessing this was not just a he said/she said where there was no way to corroborate one story or the other.

    If police had reason to believe she made up the accusations, then asked Williams for money to drop the complaint….not a lawyer, but that sounds like extortion to me.

  23. We'reFineThere says: Jun 28, 2011 10:30 AM

    tntitansfan10, you should probably know that Damian was a rookie last year. Also you should know by now that pop culture jokes have limited lifespans.

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