LARAMIE — Former Wyoming football player Carl Granderson is requesting a new trial as part of an appeal of the sentence handed down in his sexual battery case earlier this month.
Granderson’s lawyer, Laramie-based attorney Megan Overmann Goetz, has filed a notice of appeal on her client’s behalf to the Wyoming Supreme Count, according to documents filed in Albany County District Court. During sentencing proceedings July 11, Granderson, who signed with the New Orleans Saints in April as a free agent, was ordered to immediately begin serving six months in the Albany County Detention Center by district court judge Tori Kricken after he pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful contact and one count of sexual battery.
Kricken rejected the terms of a plea agreement reached by Granderson and the prosecution before handing down her sentence, which included a one-year jail term for the sexual battery charge that will be suspended in favor of supervised probation once Granderson has served his six months. In addition to filing the notice of appeal, Goetz filed an emergency motion to allow Granderson to withdraw his no-contests pleas and requested the court vacate his sentence, grant him a new trial and release him from custody pending his appeal.
Goetz in court documents referred to Kricken’s sentence as “illegal” and said another trial is needed “in the interests of justice and due to newly discovered evidence,” though the grounds for the request weren’t detailed. Both Goetz and Kricken have made additional court filings since the sentencing proceedings that have been ordered to remain sealed, including a transcript from a July 17 hearing on Granderson’s motion, according to court documents.
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Kricken cited the confidential nature of what was discussed during that hearing as to why she’s ordered the transcript to remain under seal. Goetz, an attorney with Pence and MacMillan LLC, did not immediately return a message Monday morning seeking comment.
The charges stemmed from an incident just days after Wyoming’s final game of the 2018 football season in which two female UW students accused Granderson of making unwanted sexual contact with them while sleeping at his off-campus apartment. The victims, who identified themselves only by their initials, gave emotional statements during the July 11 proceedings in which they called the plea deal too lenient and said they were under the impression Granderson was going to plead guilty to both charges.
Meanwhile, the Saints designated Granderson as reserve/did not report on the first day the team’s rookies reported for training camp, which began Friday in Metairie, Louisiana. In the first public comments made by anyone associated with the Saints regarding Granderson’s situation since his sentencing, general manager Mickey Loomis said last week the organization is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“My understanding — our understanding — is that legal process is still going on,” Loomis said, according to the New Orleans Advocate Times-Picayune. “There’s still some things to be determined here, and so we’re going to let that play out and then make our decisions.”
The Saints signed Granderson for $85,000 after he went undrafted in April — the largest amount given to any of the team’s undrafted free agents. Under his current sentence, Granderson would miss all of the NFL’s preseason and regular season.