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Rape charges dropped against Garrett Wittels

Jun 20, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

garrett wittels

You’ll recall that  Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and two friends had rape charges filed against them in the Bahamas last year.  Well, that’s over: they’ve been dropped:

 Authorities decided the evidence didn’t support prosecution. The three young men, represented in the Bahamas by Thomas Evans and present in court Monday, were accused in December of sexual assault at Nassau’s Atlantis resort by two 17-year-old girls … The defendants never denied having sex with the young women. Security camera footage appeared to contradict what the women told Bahamian authorities.

Wittels’ lawyer says it was a shakedown scheme. I have no idea if that’s true, but if it was, it was a misguided one: despite his famous 56-game hitting streak last season, Wittels went undrafted in all 50 rounds of this year’s draft, so it’s not like he has big money in his future.

Either way, as is almost always the case, the dropping of the charges will be publicized about on-tenth of the amount the charges themselves were publicized, but such is the way our media works.

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Now, the prosecution needs to open up a case against the two false accusers and try them in a court of law for lying and trying to destroy the lives of these players.

    But, we know that will never happen.

    • theotherfamousamos - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Seriously? You’re aware that in every criminal case, there is the chance that the government won’t be able to prove a charge, right? Sometimes people are acquitted. We’ve got this whole democracy thing going on here (and in the Bahamas as well, I think). You don’t get criminally charged simply because there isn’t enough evidence to go forward with a criminal charge. There aren’t too many teenagers who would put themselves through the agony of a rape investigation just for kicks.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        This is different than a typical criminal case because it affects the wrongly accused for the rest of their life if they did not commit the crime. I see the reasons that they will not turn around and prosecute the women, mainly so that other/future women will not be afraid to file a report if a real rape occurs.

        I have always believed that these type of allegations should ONLY be made public once the authorities know there is beyond resonable doubt that a rape occured. If not, then this false accusation should never be made public. Then, you can insure the privacy is respected in all individuals involved.

        In this instance, they had video proving that it was a consensual situation. Why wasn’t this reviewed further by the prosecution before charges were made? These young men are now publicly humiliated.

      • aaronmoreno - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Uh, the prosecution isn’t going forward because the girls lied. Read the whole paragraph.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        aaronmoreno,

        I did read the paragraph and am well aware of the story. Where did I say that the prosecution is going forward with this? All I said was that charges should not have been filed until the authorities and the District Attorney’s office reviewed the video, and hence this should have never been made public.

      • aaronmoreno - Jun 20, 2011 at 5:28 PM

        I wasn’t talking to you.

  2. ThatGuy - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    He did go undrafted, but that was likely because of the rape allegations.

    • kopy - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      I was just about to ask if anyone had any insight as to what his draft stock would have been without the rape charges.

    • oldnumero7 - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      I can only agree with ThatGuy up to a point. If Wittels truly has big-league ability someone would have taken him somewhere. Exceptional talent always gets the benefit of the doubt. Now if he was a borderline prospect, I have no doubt teams might have passed to avoid the PR hit. In either case, all he’s legitimately lost is a few grand in signing bonus. If he can play, someone will sign him as a free agent and he’ll make that money up later. If he can’t then, well, he can’t, and he’ll have to go work for a living like the rest of us.

      • aaronmoreno - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

        An actual rapist has been in the Mariners’ bullpen this year, and they seem fine with it. Talent plays.

      • ThatGuy - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        I believe that’s what he was, borderline. round 15 + type of guy, but he would have been drafted just to fill the minors prior to that allegation.

  3. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Either this guy truly sucks at baseball, or these pending, at the time, charges caused teams to avoid him. I mean, the Rangers drafted a paralyzed college player in the middle rounds, so I gotta believe a dude with a 56 game hit streak, and a .352 batting average in almost 3 seasons of college ball would at least get a sniff.

  4. 24missed - Jun 21, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Having experienced rape, personally, it is a nightmare that you will never, ever forget. There wasn’t security footage to prove that I was raped, only the my word, my friend who picked me up and saw me beaten the living heck out of, and the guy’s buddies who told my friend that they hoped the rapist wasn’t raping me.

    There wasn’t tape. There was just my word. And I was too scared to go to court and scared to upset my family. I know I could have saved others, and I didn’t do the right thing, but I was terrified. And I had a miscarriage.

    I can’t imagine anyone would make something up that haunts you for the rest of you the rest of your days. But, I guess it happens.

    Won’t bore you anymore with the rest, just sayin’ I would do so much differently. I would take the gentlemen (been raped twice) to court and would do everything I could to put them away so no one would ever have to experience that pain.

    If those women are making this up, they ought to be held to the highest extent of the law ~ that is just inexcusable. And if the men are in fact rapists, make it public. Make them responsible for their actions.

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