Kicker Rafael Septien, who pleaded guilty last week to fondling a 10-year-old girl, was released Wednesday by the Dallas Cowboys, team President Tex Schramm saying that public opinion made it impossible to keep Septien.
"Ultimately, we had no alternative but to take this action," said Schramm, who said last week that the veteran kicker would stay. "The Cowboys and the community have always enjoyed a special relationship, and this will continue to be our highest priority."
Septien, 33, is the Cowboys' all-time leading scorer with 874 points, ranks fourth on the NFL list for accuracy and is the 18th-leading scorer of all time.
Prosecutors claimed that Septien fondled the child, his neighbor's daughter, Dec. 27 in the Denton County, Tex., suburb of The Colony. Septien maintained his innocence but signed a statement last week, admitting he was guilty of the charge of indecency with a child.
He was fined $2,000 and placed on 10 years deferred probation.
A native of Mexico City, Septien played one season with the Rams before joining the Cowboys.