IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former Iowa football player Cedric Everson was sentenced Friday to one week in jail for a 2007 assault on a female athlete that caused a scandal reaching to the highest levels of the university administration.
District Judge Paul Miller ordered the 21-year-old Everson to report to the Johnson County Jail on July 15 to serve the sentence after he completes summer classes at a community college in Detroit. Jurors convicted Everson of assault in January after finding him innocent of sexual abuse charges that could have brought lengthy prison terms.
"Regardless of the level of crime the jury convicted you of, you should be ashamed of your conduct that resulted in the conviction for assault," Miller told Everson. "You came here to Iowa City as a football player for the University of Iowa. You were looked up to by people throughout the state of Iowa."
Everson apologized, saying he had learned his lesson and matured since the events nearly four years ago. His attorney said Everson has received two scholarship offers from unidentified schools and is hoping to return to college football soon.
"I don't have words to put it in, but It feels like I'm a changed person," Everson said.
Prosecutors contended Everson sexually assaulted a freshmen athlete who was passed out after his then-teammate Abe Satterfield did so first in a Hillcrest Residence Hall room. The woman, who did not appear at the sentencing, testified at trial she ended up in the room with Satterfield after a night of drinking, and he forced intercourse even though she asked him to stop. She said she woke up the next morning naked and covered in blood and didn't find out Everson had also assaulted her until weeks later, after he bragged about the encounter to teammates.
Prosecutor Anne Lahey asked Miller to impose the maximum sentence of 30 days in jail "due to the nature of the assault and the harm to the victim in this case." But defense attorney Leon Spies said the jury's verdict was a repudiation of the prosecution's allegations and he asked Miller to spare Everson jail time and any restitution.
Miller ordered Everson and Satterfield to pay a total of $2,084 to cover the cost of the woman's sexual assault examination. He also ordered Everson to not have any contact with the woman for five years.
Lahey contended at trial that Everson sneaked into the room, traded places with Satterfield, had intercourse with the woman while she was helpless and left to cover up his actions. She suggested Everson and Satterfield, teammates and roommates, coordinated the assault.
Satterfield received a suspended sentence on an assault charge in a plea agreement after agreeing to testify at Everson's trial, but his testimony wasn't particularly helpful to the prosecution.
He testified the woman "was the aggressor" and had consensual sex with him. He said Everson came in the room while he and the woman were sleeping, tapped him on the shoulder and told him to get out of bed. Satterfield said he fell asleep on the floor and didn't know what happened between Everson and the woman.
Everson, who is now married, did not take the stand in his own defense. Spies argued that the woman consented to have sex with both men but didn't remember the encounter with Everson because she was in a state of "functional blackout."
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz suspended Satterfield and Everson, a freshman who was a highly recruited defensive back, after the assault and they both later transferred.
Months later, the victim's mother released letters accusing athletic department officials of encouraging her to keep the matter private and being insensitive to her situation. Those documents had not been turned over to a Board of Regents investigator who had earlier found no wrongdoing.
A subsequent independent investigation found no evidence of a cover-up but faulted other university officials for showing poor judgment and blamed the university's confusing policies for upsetting the victim, a highly recruited athlete who also transferred.
School president Sally Mason fired dean of students Phil Jones and general counsel Marcus Mills after she blamed them for mishandling the case. Jones and Mills have defended their actions and filed lawsuits alleging wrongful termination.