Four former high school football players have pleaded guilty to felony charges in an alleged sexual assault of a Hendrickson High School ninth-grader in April 2011 at a neighborhood pool in Pflugerville.
Travis County state District Judge Karen Sage sentenced each of the men to five years’ deferred adjudication, a type of probation that will require them to meet conditions under community supervision.
Leonard Leon Scales, 20, and Tommie Lee Robins Jr., 21, were facing charges of felony sexual assault and felony unlawful restraint. In court Thursday, they each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful restraint, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Two other men, Curtis Dennis Franklin, 20, and Deionta Wayne James, 21, faced felony unlawful restraint charges. They pleaded guilty Thursday to one count each of attempted unlawful restraint, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years’ incarceration.
Sage said she found it in the best interest of the community to sentence the defendants following conditions in their plea agreements. They will have to do 100 hours of community service and undergo sex offender assessment, and they will not be allowed within 200 yards of the victim, her residence or her place of employment.
Arrest warrant affidavits say the girl told police that the men, then teens, held her in a bathroom at a Falcon Pointe neighborhood pool and that she was sexually assaulted by two of them. She first made an outcry to a student counselor on April 18, 2011.
At the time, all four teens charged were listed as players on the Hendrickson football team’s 2010 roster, and all were seniors except for Franklin, who was a junior.
In coming to an agreement with the defense, Assistant District Attorney Mary Farrington said they looked at the defendants’ age and criminal history.
“In assessing these cases, we look at the facts of the case but also the effect that a trial would have on the victim of the offense,” Farrington said. “We try to fashion a resolution that addresses the needs of the victim, the rehabilitation of the defendant if possible and the safety of the community.”
Defense attorney Gerry Smith said the case started as a childish incident that got out of hand, but he said he did not believe the men, then teens themselves, sexually assaulted the young girl.
“It started out playfully,” Smith said. “It didn’t last very long, and they are going to have to pay a price for it. The case has cost them dearly.”