An offending lineman will not share in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl limelight a week from Sunday. Josh Sills will, however, get his day in court after Ohio’s attorney general filed rape and kidnapping charges against him.
Those charges followed a grand jury indictment of Sills. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Eagles offensive lineman was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list. He’s not allowed to practice, travel or play for the Eagles while the league reviews his case.
A police report obtained by ESPN states that a police officer was dispatched to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center emergency room in Cambridge, Ohio, on Dec. 5, 2019. The alleged victim said a man grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back into a truck she was attempting to exit from. He grabbed her by the neck several times, along with her hair and attempted to kiss her, she told him to stop, but he persisted. He also tried to remove her pants and kept touching her crotch before forcing her to perform oral sex with him.
The woman identified the man as Sills, a former high school classmate. A police officer’s report included photos of the woman's face and neck. Hospital employees performed a CT scan to check for strangulation injuries and found bruising in the back of the woman's throat, inner lip, right ear and the back of her left knee.
An indictment was announced by the Ohio Attorney General’s office following an investigation over the purported incident. Prosecutors said the 25-year-old Sills “did engage in sexual conduct” with a victim and “purposely compelled her to submit by force or threat of force” in an alleged incident that occurred in Guernsey County, Ohio.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said in a news release: “In December 2019, Sills engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will. The crime was immediately reported, and the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office conducted a detailed investigation.” He has a court date scheduled for Feb. 16.
Sills was an undrafted free agent acquisition by the Eagles last April, and he only played in one game all season, snapping the ball four times during the team’s 20-17 win over the Cardinals. His’ attorney, Michael Connick, insists the charges against Sills are false. And of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty … but it appears he’s no Boy Scout.
According to the NFL Arrest Database, assault and battery is the fourth-ranked cause of top crime categories among arrested league players. Sex crimes ranks 12th. By comparison, the NBA Crime Library lists more than 400 arrests over 65 years, and Major League Baseball has had more than its share of arrests, as well. To be fair, not all arrests have resulted in convictions.
Based on the reports, it looks very bad for Sills, the Eagles and the NFL. A grand jury examining the case believes it was worthy of a trial.
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