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Cowboys' C.J. Spillman returns to practice after assault allegations

Cowboys' C.J. Spillman returns to practice after assault allegations
Cowboys defensive back C.J. Spillman, left, is shown with Coach Jason Garrett at a practice Thursday. Police are investigating Spillman's role in an alleged sexual assault. (Tim Sharp / Associated Press)

Dallas Cowboys safety C.J. Spillman, accused by a woman last month of sexually assaulting her at a hotel near Dallas, returned to the practice field Thursday, with the support of his head coach.

"I'm not going to make any comment on an investigation where there've been no arrests or charges made," Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett told reporters. "Having said that, we've been very clear with our team about consequences that there will be if there is a situation where charges or arrests are made for a crime. We've been clear about that. That doesn't apply in this particular case."

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Authorities say the alleged assault took place early Sept. 20 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine. The Cowboys flew to St. Louis later that day, a Saturday, for their Sunday game against the Rams, in which Spillman played on special teams.

"He'll take part in everything with our football at this time unless the circumstances change," Garrett said. "You have to be careful with just accusations and allegations in this situation. When someone is officially charged or arrested for something, that's when it becomes a different situation in our minds. For now, he's a member of our football team and will take part in everything we do to this point."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an emailed statement that the league has "been looking into this matter and will continue to do so."

"At this point there is a confirmed law enforcement investigation that has not resulted in an arrest or formal charges," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the league has offered to make special advisor Lisa Friel available to the alleged victim to interview her on "a confidential and appropriate basis to obtain more information."

Twitter: @LATimesFarmer

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