As we have discussed before within this blog, criminal charges of any kind have a significant impact on the course of one's life. Sometimes, the impact is intensified when the defendant's life is lived largely in the public eye.
An example of someone whose public image is a big part of his career is Perrish Cox. He is a 24-year-old cornerback for the NFL's Denver Broncos. Currently, he is at the beginning of a trial naming him as the defendant in a sex crime case. This is a young man with a big career ahead of him. A highly-publicized trial against him threatens his bright future, even if he is not guilty.
A highly-publicized trial is exactly what the Denver Broncos' player wants to avoid. In an attempt to keep the case somewhat private, Cox's defense attorney requested last week that the Douglas County judge allow the preliminary hearing to be held privately. The judge denied the request.
Why? The judge decided that there wasn't reason enough to keep the hearing private. If she had granted the request, the private hearing would have been a luxury afforded to Cox that others, including other public figures, have not been allowed in the past.
She didn't convince Cox's attorney, but he did find another way around going through a public preliminary hearing. Sources report that he completely waived Cox's right to a preliminary hearing, meaning the hearing wasn't held at all.
The next time Cox appears in court, on May 16, he will have to enter a plea to the two charges he faces: sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. For now, the charges are all we really know about the case, as the reports regarding the allegations have been kept private.
We will follow this case and post an update when more developments take shape.
National Post: "Broncos' Perrish Cox waives right to hearing," P. Solomon Banda, 10 Mar. 2011