Rumors have recently surfaced regarding the existence of video footage allegedly depicting NFL star Dez Bryant committing an act of domestic violence. According to sports gossip blog Terez Owens, the video shows the Dallas Cowboys receiver committing an act that is “five times worse than the Ray Rice video.”
The video is surveillance footage from a Walmart store that reportedly shows Bryant beating a woman, according to the site. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones has denied knowledge of such a video despite media reports that the team is aware of its existence. However, if the media is to be believed, it seems the video does exist. ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter said he is aware of the video, and that he first heard of it in September.
Why Hasn’t the Video Been Released to the Public?
If we learned anything from the Ray Rice incident, it’s that these types of videos may be held in secrecy for quite some time. After surveillance footage of Ray Rice striking his fiancée in an elevator was released to the public last year, it was later discovered that the video evidence had been withheld by investigators for months.
However, the Bryant video has allegedly not gone public for another reason: extortion. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the video’s current owners are looking to cash in on it by threatening to sell it publicly unless Bryant and his agents pay them. If this is true, they could be charged with extortion.
Consequences of Extortion in California (PC 518)
Bryant could face harsh punishment if he is guilty of domestic violence. But the owners of the alleged video could also face serious criminal charges if they are convicted of extortion. So far, they have remained anonymous, so it is unclear what state they would be prosecuted in if they were to be charged with extortion. However, if they were convicted of extortion in California, they would face severe consequences.
According to California Penal Code 518, extortion (also known as “blackmail”) is the obtaining of property from another induced by a wrongful use of force or fear.
Under PC 518, any person who is found guilty of extorting any money or other property from another by means of force or threat is guilty of a felony. Extortion is punishable by two, three, or four years in county jail and a $10,000 fine.
If you are accused of extortion in California, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Share Your Thoughts with Us
At Wallin & Klarich, we place great value on the opinions of our clients and our readers. Tell us what you think. Do you think this is all a hoax or are the allegations true? What do you think will happen to Dez Bryant if the reported video is released to the public? What should the NFL do about its domestic violence problem? Please share your comments below.
1. [http://deadspin.com/if-the-dez-bryant-video-exists-well-buy-it-1688021515 ]↩