Former NFL player David Meggett sat quietly Monday inside a Charleston County courtroom and looked on as a woman half his age testified that he raped her inside her North Charleston home in January 2009.
Meggett's attorney, Beattie Butler of the Charleston County Public Defender's Office, told the jury that Meggett and the woman had consensual sex that night and later argued over $200 that she owed Meggett.
But Assistant 9th Circuit Solicitor Culver Kidd said their encounter was rape and urged the jury to issue a verdict that gives the woman closure "and that prevents Mr. Meggett from doing something like this again."
As the trial began, the woman dabbed at her tears and stifled sobs as she recounted how she returned to her North Charleston home to begin classes at the College of Charleston when she awoke around midnight to find Meggett -- whom she knew then only as "Michael" -- sitting at the foot of her bed. She testified that she had met him several months before through her former roommate and that they had a brief, drunken consensual sexual encounter the previous May.
She testified that she owed him $200, and he asked her to pay him back when he appeared at the foot of her bed. When she said she didn't have it, "he told me he was going to take a down payment now," she testified. She was 21 at the time.
She testified that Meggett then grabbed her throat, pinned her arm behind her back and had forcible intercourse with her. He apologized through her window as he left her home, and she then called her mother and eventually drove herself to Roper St. Francis Northwoods emergency room. As she was giving her first statement to police, Meggett called her several times on her cell phone again to apologize.
Police learned that "Mike" was actually Meggett when he showed up at the hospital looking for her.
Circuit Judge Kristi Harrington is presiding over the trial, which is expected to last through Wednesday.
Meggett, 44, faces 15 years to life in prison on the burglary charge, if convicted, and up to 30 years in prison on the criminal sexual conduct charge.
He became a well-known running back and punt returner during his 10 seasons with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets, but he also had his share of off-field problems. The incident for which he now stands trial was his second such arrest while on probation for a 2006 attack in North Carolina.
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.
Ex-NFL player facing sex charge; Meggett was on probation when arrested Tuesday, published 01/14/09
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