It's been about a week and a half since WDIV (Channel 4 in Detroit) first reported that an unnamed Lions player is being accused of "inappropriate sexual conduct" by a 22-year-old woman. The alleged conduct occurred at Ironwood Grill in Plymouth on January 3.
Today, the Plymouth police have requested a Wayne County court to issue an arrest warrant for the unnamed player:
Plymouth police have requested an arrest warrant for a Detroit Lions player accused of inappropriate contact at a Plymouth bar and grill earlier this month.
Detective Lt. Jamie Grabowski wrote in an e-mail that a warrant request was submitted this afternoon to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
"They have their protocols to follow, of interviewing the victim before authorizing or denying the warrant," Grabowski wrote. "I cannot speak to how soon the warrant will be reviewed."
The name of the player has not been released because he has not been officially charged with anything, yet. The court will have to support any warrant with a signed affidavit showing probable cause exists. In other words, there must be a reasonable belief that the unnamed Lions player actually committed a crime. For what it's worth, the unnamed Lions player denies that he did anything inappropriate that night.
If the warrant is issued, there are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. First and third degree criminal sexual conduct crimes require penetration. Assuming that there was no penetration at the bar and grill, the unnamed Lions player would be charged with either second degree or fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree is a felony and is punishable up to 15 years in prison. In the fourth degree, the crime is a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine, if convicted. While the two charges carry much different penalties, the elements required to support the charges are similar, so it's possible the player could be charged under both.
The 22-year-old woman's attorney said today they've also decided to file a civil suit against the unnamed Lions player, but they are waiting to see how the player's attorneys handle it (read: they're looking for dollar signs). However, if an arrest warrant is issued beforehand, the law will not allow the woman's side to file a civil suit while any criminal action is pending.