Police investigate Cowboys’ C.J. Spillman on sexual assault allegations
HOUSTON — The NFL, already under a spotlight for its handling of domestic violence cases, now has one of its players under investigation for an alleged sexual assault last month.
A woman has filed a police report accusing C.J. Spillman of sexual assault, said Sgt. Robert Eberling of the Grapevine Police Department.
No arrest has been made and no charges filed in the case. The alleged assault took place on September 20 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, which is the Cowboys’ team hotel, CNN affiliate KDFW reported.
“We are continuing our investigation and have no further details to release at this time,” Eberling said.
CNN reached out to the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys but didn’t receive immediate comment from either. Attorney Bruce Ashworth couldn’t be immediately reached, and agent Ron Slavin said, “We’re not making a comment at this time.”
The alleged assault took place a day after NFL Commissioner RogerGoodell announced changes to the league’s personal conduct policy, including the creation of a committee to review the NFL’s personal conduct policy to address the league’s handling of domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
Goodell said he hoped to have the committee in place by the time the Super Bowl is played February 2, but he did not provide a time line for the committee to make changes to the policy.
Word of the alleged attack came just days after attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference saying she had a client who was sexually assaulted by an NFL player. Allred didn’t name her client, the player, the team he played for or the city where it was supposed to have taken place. She said the player participated in the team’s game the day following the alleged assault.
“Did the NFL allow the player to play yesterday with knowledge of the rape allegation?” her Monday letter states. “The NFL Commissioner has been saying that they take allegations of violence against women seriously and they indicate that they are turning over a new leaf, but here, even though a rape allegation should have been reported to them it was not and what are they doing about that?”
The news comes on a week in which Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told players of the team’s zero-tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence, according to local media. If a player is involved in a domestic violence case, they won’t play, regardless of due process,The Dallas Morning News reported.
“Part of what our jobs are as coaches is to create the right environment for our players to function both on and off the field,” Garrett was quoted as saying.
Though the NFL and Spillman’s team, lawyer and agent aren’t commenting, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a Cowboys source told the newspaper that the team was dealing with Spillman differently because of questions about the veracity of the allegation.
The allegations come on the heels of charges levied against NFL players alleging violence:
— Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with aggravated assault in March after punching and knocking out his now-wife. He has been suspended indefinitely.
— Last month, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with felony child abuse for whipping his son in Texas. He will take a leave with pay until his case is complete, the team said.
— Arizona Cardinals backup running back Jonathan Dwyer was indicted last month on a felony charge of aggravated assault and eight misdemeanors stemming from two July arguments with his wife in which he allegedly head-butted her and fractured her nose.
— Carolina Panthers star defensive end Greg Hardy, who has been granted a new trial this fall after a domestic violence conviction in July, has taken a voluntary leave with pay until his legal matters are resolved, the team announced last month.
— San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested in August on suspicion of felony domestic violence after he allegedly got involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who was 10 weeks pregnant, a police source told The Sacramento Bee. San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said the team would await the outcome of the criminal case before determining whether to punish him.