Former University of Iowa football player Cedric Everson was sentenced to one week in jail this morning.
The sentence comes after Everson, 21, and former teammate Abe Satterfield, 22, were originally charged with second-degree sexual abuse after allegedly sexually assaulting a former Hawkeye athlete in a Hillcrest dorm room more than three years ago.
Everson’s charges were later reduced to third-degree sexual abuse, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and assault during his Jan. trial, when Sixth-district Judge Paul Miller ruled the state presented insufficient evidence to find Everson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on the original second-degree sexual abuse charge, following his attorney’s motion for acquittal.
Everson was found guilty of assault, a simple misdemeanor and the lowest possible charge, Jan. 20.
Satterfield entered a plea bargain in exchange for his testimony against Everson; he was sentenced to a $625 fine, $326 in victim restitution, and two days in jail on March 9.
The victim in the case chose not to offer a victim impact statement, leaving Johnson County assistant prosecutor Anne Lahey to speak on her behalf.
“First of all, [the victim], is not going to make a separate victim impact statement because she feels that her persistence during the long four years of this trial is a statment in itself,” Lahey said.
Lahey then asked the court to sentence Everson to 30 days in jail, “due to the nature of harassment and harm to the victim,” and requested Everson pay $2,084.82 in restitution — to be split with Satterfield — to cover the cost of the sexual assault kit. Lahey also asked for her clients no contact order to be extended an additional three to five years.
Leon Spies, Everson’s attorney, asked the court to consider Everson’s personal achievement and financial situation in the sentence, objecting to the restitution in the case, and reccomending Everson be sentenced to time served. Spies said a jail sentence would be “unwaranted” in this case.
“Mr. Everson was 21-years-old when he came to the University of Iowa. He was a gifted scholar and athlete and he had a great academic and sports career in Iowa City,” Spies said. “Those aspirations were shattered by the charges brought in this courtroom earlier in the trial. Mr. Everson has no criminal record what so ever, he’s 21, he can study in a community college, and he has enough academic credits to honor a sports scholarship to two academic institutions, which he will pursue after this summer.”
Spies also asked the court to consider Everson’s wife, one-year-old daughter, and retired parents who reside in Atlanta, Ga., where Everson is employed.
Donning a grey sweater, layered over a black and white checkered shirt, Everson also adressed the court.
“I’m just sorry for everything that happened,” Everson said quietly. “… I feel like I really learned my lesson. I’ve been going through this for like four years now and I don’t really have words to put it in, but I’m a changed person.”
Miller sentenced Everson to seven days in jail and a minimum fine of $65, adding he felt jail time was warranted in this case due to the nature of the assault. He also ordered the restitution to be paid as filed in joint with Satterfield and extended the no-contact order to five years.
“What I want to say to you, Mr. Everson, is I sat next to you in jury selection for a day and a half, and watched you throughout this trial, only to see you were an intelligent person and articulate,” Miller said. “But regardless of the level of the crime the jury convicted you of, you should be ashamed of your conduct that resulted in your conviction for assault. You came here to Iowa City as a football player for the University of Iowa, and you were looked up to by people throughout the state of Iowa.”
Lahey did not object to the sentence, but Spies asked the judge to postpone Everson’s term so he could complete the two weeks remaining in his summer school program.
Miller granted that request, ordering Everson to report to the Johnson County Jail on Friday, July 15 at 10 a.m. Everson has 10 days to file an appeal.
After the hearing, Spies and Everson declined to comment further or reveal where Everson plans to pursue his football career.
“I think enough has been said,” Spies said.