|Friday, October 26
Henry faces possible jail time, NFL ruling
HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills rookie Travis Henry pleaded guilty Friday to trying to have sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl.
Henry, a running back, will be sentenced Nov. 9. He faces up to 90 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine for the misdemeanor, but it is more likely that he will have to do community service.
"It is unusual for anybody under similar circumstances to receive sentences of incarceration in situations like this," District Attorney Frank Clark said.
The guilty plea puts Henry under review regarding the NFL's personal-conduct policy and could lead to a suspension, fine or both. The team will not comment until Henry is sentenced, Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said.
Henry was at a suburban Buffalo gas station when two girls approached him Sept. 23. The three went to Henry's home, and the 15-year-old girl told him she was almost 18, Clark said.
In agreeing to charge Henry with a misdemeanor, Clark took into account that the encounter was consensual, there was no evidence of physical or psychological coercion, and the two were relatively close in age.
Henry turns 23 on Monday.
He was not immediately available for comment.
"Mr. Henry did neither better or worse than the great number of people that fall in the same factual setting as he did," Clark said.
The charge, attempted sexual misconduct, covers any attempt of sexual contact between an adult and someone younger than 17.
"He realizes it was an error of judgment," Henry's lawyer, Terrence Connors, said. "And it's a hard lesson to learn."
Connors denied his client received any privileges because he is a pro football player.
"If anything, the scrutiny was more intense rather than less intense," Connors said. "Travis Henry accepted responsibility for his actions."
Henry is the first rookie running back to start a season with the Bills since Thurman Thomas in 1988. Henry leads the team with 303 yards on 97 carries in five games.
Henry, Tennessee's career leading rusher, was drafted in the second round.