LARAMIE — A judge sentenced former Wyoming football player Carl Granderson to six months in jail Thursday morning in Albany County District Court, rejecting the terms of his plea agreement.
Granderson pleaded no contest to one count of sexual battery and one count of unlawful contact after informing the court of his intent to change his not guilty plea in documents filed on his behalf earlier this week by his attorney, Megan Overmann Goetz. Both Goetz and prosecutors agreed to the terms of a plea deal, which included one year of unsupervised probation and a mental evaluation to be completed within 60 days in exchange for the new pleas.
Granderson, who signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints in April, was originally charged with third-degree sexual assault in addition to one count of sexual battery after two female UW students accused him of unwanted sexual contact while they slept at his off-campus apartment on the night of Nov. 25, 2018. But the felony assault charge was replaced with misdemeanor unlawful contact as part of amended information filed in the case Wednesday.
“This has been a well put-together, thought-out plea agreement,” prosecuting attorney Becky Farley said as she asked District Court Judge Tori Kricken to accept the terms of the deal.
But Kricken rejected them and ordered Granderson to begin immediately serving six months in the Albany County Detention Center on the count of unlawful contact. Kricken also gave Granderson a one-year sentence on the sexual battery charge, but that will be suspended with one year of supervised probation once he has served his six months.
Granderson’s victims, identified as A.A. and D.H. in court filings, both made statements. A.A., a UW student-athlete, said she was hospitalized this spring for depression and suicidal thoughts after being “harassed and bullied” by members of UW’s football team.
“I literally almost lost my life because of him,” said A.A. “I want him to face every consequence he can get.”
A.A. also criticized UW’s administration for the way she felt it handled the allegations against Granderson. She claimed that one coach’s wife told her she should transfer because she was going to become the target of slut-shaming.
D.H. said she also had to be hospitalized for panic attacks after the incident.
“I was terrified to go anywhere I may see you,” D.H. said as she addressed Granderson. “Because of you, I’m no longer who I once was.”
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, UW Acting President Neil Theobald said the school supports the victims in this case.
“Everyone at the University of Wyoming recognizes the importance of sexual assault prevention and enforcement,” Theobald said. “We are dedicating significant additional resources, including four new staff positions in our NO MORE campaign, to prevent and respond to sexual assaults.”