Rodney Austin, Guard, Found Guilty of Assaulting His Girlfriend and Infant Son
via USA Today Sports
Height / Weight: 6'4" / 311 Ibs
College: Elon University
NFL draft: 2012 / Undrafted
Career history: Detroit Lions (2012–2014)
In June 2015, Rodney Austin was found guilty of four misdemeanor charges, including assault on a woman and assault on a minor.
On April 17, 2015, Austin was arrested in Mecklenburg County, NC, and charged with four misdemeanor charges: assault on a female, assault on a minor under 12, interfering with emergency communication, and misdemeanor larceny. Austin's ex-girlfriend alleged that on April 4, 2015, Austin had pushed her down while she was holding the couple's infant son; when she tried to call the police, she alleged in the police report that he took her phone and "smashed it to pieces."
Shortly after his arrest, Rodney was released from the Detroit Lions. (Lions coach Jim Caldwell has said he has a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.) In June 2015, Austin was found guilty of all four charges and sentenced to 12 months supervised probation and ordered to complete an intervention program. The NFL suspended him for the first six games of the 2015 season.
When reached for comment, a representative for Austin told Broadly: "Rodney's record will be wiped clean and all charges dismissed, as if they never happened, once he completes the program. My personal opinion is that judges feel tremendous pressure, especially with high-profile individuals, to avoid mistakes. And the easiest way they can do that is to say 'guilty—but it'll all wipe away from your record if you complete a program.' I believe that is what happened here. In a he-said, she-said case, it was too easy for the judge to fall back on 'guilty—but it'll go away' because there's no way to be wrong. Except that in doing so, she ruined a good man's career and significantly set his professional life back."