Former NFL player David Meggett, who was convicted of raping a North Charleston woman in 2009, wants the courts to toss out his conviction or grant him new trial.
Meggett, 47, now at the Lieber Correctional Institute in Ridgeville, filed the request on Tuesday with the Charleston County Clerk of Court.
In his filing, Meggett said he wants his sentence to be vacated. He wants to be released from custody or be granted a new trial.
That can happen only if it’s proven that his lawyer was incompetent in handling his case or there were errors that prove his trial was unfair.
Meggett claims his attorney, Charleston County public defender Beattie Butler, was “ineffective” and that he didn’t invest enough time in preparing for the trial.
He also states that Butler did not adequately instruct him on his right to testify and what it would mean for his case, according to the filing. He didn’t testify at his trial and also passed up a chance to speak to the court before the judge sentenced him.
“These [filings] are routine and I don’t take it personally. As a matter of fact, if I made a mistake in any case I would want someone to bring that to the court’s attention,” Butler said.
The 2009 trial lasted three days and the victim in the case took the stand. The woman, who was 21 when she said Meggett raped her, knew him as “Michael.”
She told the jury that she met him through her former roommate and that they had a brief, drunken, consensual-sexual encounter eight months before, according to court records. She had also borrowed $200 from Meggett to pay bills.
In the early morning of Jan. 13, 2009, the woman awoke to find Meggett sitting at the edge of her bed. During the trial she told the jury Meggett asked her for his $200.
When she said she didn’t have it, “he told me he was going to take a down payment now,” she testified.
He grabbed her neck, held her against the wall, choked her and raped her, authorities said.
The jury found him guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree burglary. The judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison.
Meggett appealed his conviction, but his appeal was denied last June by the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
A graduate of Bonds-Wilson/North Charleston High School, Meggett was best known as a kickoff and punt returner during his 10 seasons with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets, but he also had many off-field problems.
While with the Giants in 1990, Meggett was arrested in Baltimore on a charge of offering to pay an undercover female police officer for sex. The Patriots cut him in 1998 after his arrest in Toronto for allegedly assaulting an escort worker after a sexual encounter. A trial on the assault charge ended with a hung jury in April 2000.
In 2001, Charleston police arrested Meggett for allegedly sexually assaulting an intoxicated, 26-year-old woman after they left a downtown nightclub. That case was dismissed.
In 2006 he resigned from his job as parks and recreation director in Robersonville, N.C., after he was accused of sexually assaulting his former girlfriend. He was convicted of sexual battery, a misdemeanor, a year later. He received two years probation and was allowed to move back to South Carolina on probation.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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