Former Atlanta Falcons prospect and two-time junior college All-American Justin Crawford stands accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, according to police in Georgia.
Crawford, a running back released by the Falcons in early September, was arrested Saturday in Columbus. Authorities said the 23-year-old faces a number of felony charges, including aggravated child molestation, incest and sodomy.
A detective testified at a preliminary hearing on Monday that Crawford’s wife claimed she saw her husband standing over the child with an erection on Saturday morning, according to The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Later that day, the child told her mother Crawford forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her, the detective said.
Crawford initially denied having sex with the child, but later claimed it was her idea, The Associated Press reported.
The relationship between Crawford and the victim is unknown, but the incest charge indicates they are somehow related. In Georgia, incest is defined as engaging in “sexual intercourse or sodomy … with a person whom he or she knows he or she is related to either by blood or by marriage.”
Crawford’s wife has objected to the account given by the detective in court. After the hearing, she told the Ledger-Enquirer she did not see her husband standing over the child with an erection, but that his penis was exposed.
“I did not see anyone having sex, or I would have called police right away,” she said, adding that her husband denied any wrongdoing.
Crawford signed an undrafted free agent contract with the NFL’s Falcons on May 1. A star high school football player, he began his collegiate career at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He played two seasons there before transferring to West Virginia University, where he rushed for 2,244 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons.
The Falcons released Crawford after he played in several preseason games, TMZ reported. He was then picked up by the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football league. The Legends told Atlanta’s WXIA-TV on Tuesday that Crawford was waived following his arrest.
Crawford is being held without bail at the Muscogee County Jail, pending his next court appearance. Jail records do not list an attorney for Crawford.