A jury has sentenced Carl Garrett, who played on the Oakland Raiders' 1977 Super Bowl team, to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl--despite testimony in his support from the girl's family.
Garrett, a nine-year pro running back before returning to his hometown of Denton, Tex., maintained his innocence and said black people are "put in jail all the time for things they didn't do." The 10-woman, two-man jury was white.
The 12-year-old girl who accused Garrett of assaulting her claimed he came into her bedroom around 3:15 a.m. on Dec. 15 and tried to have sex with her. The girl was living with her grandmother in the community of Sanger.
The girl's grandmother testified that Garrett had left the house before the incident occurred, and the girl's father asked that Garrett be given probation. Prosecutor Lee Gabriel accused the girl's relatives, who said they considered Garrett practically one of the family, of protecting him at the victim's expense.