Just before the NFL Draft at the end of April, former Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was charged with battery after a complaint that he pushed a woman before punching her in the face. Brantley, projected to go as high as the first round in the Draft, subsequently tanked to the sixth round as questions around both the NFL and college football arose about his character.
Things have changed since, however, the battery charged against Brantley has been dismissed.
From the Florida state attorney office statement:
“Having reviewed the matter, including interviewing the alleged victim and multiple other witnesses, it is apparent that there is no reliable evidence upon which an arrest or prosecution would be warranted or legally justified, and the sworn complaint is there being dismissed. Because of the notoriety involved in this matter, this statement is being provided to outline the reasons for that decision.”
First, the alleged victim, who had been drinking heavily despite being underage and was initially un-cooperative and denied having even been assaulted, has little to no memory of anything involved in the incident and cannot provide any credible testimony upon which a prosecution could go forward.
Second, witnesses on her behalf had been drinking as well and have provided internally contradictory testimony that calls into serious question the accuracy of what they say.
Third, that testimony is significantly contradicted by the statement of Brantley, witness on his behalf, and most important an apparently neutral witness who supports Brantley’s version of events.
Fourth, reports of a significant injury to the alleged victim are inaccurate and any injury she sustained is relatively minor and inconsistent with any great forced having been used against her. In essence, the facts suggest that the alleged victim’s friends engaged Brantley in an unpleasant verbal exchange, during which the alleged victim began to physically punch or assault Brantley, causing him to shove her away. It is legally clear that under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law Brantley had the legal right to defend himself by pushing away someone who was punching and assaulting him. While it may not be popularly approved of or morally appropriate, that the alleged victim is a female of smaller stature than he does not change that.”
Brantley does not appear to be facing any other legal action for the alleged events at hand, but a civil trial could still follow.