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article imageNFL draft prospect registered sex offender and hurricane victim

By Bob Gordon     Mar 24, 2010 in Crime
Abilene - Tony Washington is a six foot, seven inch offensive tackle hoping to be selected in the second round of the NFL draft. He is also a registered sex offender whose New Orleans home was demolished by Hurricane Katrina while he was a high school student.
In May 2003, Washington was convicted of having sex with a relative. SportsFanLive.com reports that multiple NFL and college sources say the victim was his 15-year old biological sister. The website adds that the act was consensual, according to his college coaches and two NFL scouts. Washington received five years probation and did not serve jail time.
Washington was forthright and apologetic when he spoke to SportsFanLive.com:
I made a mistake at the age of 16, and for that, I am deeply sorry.I will not try and excuse or justify anything. I have worked extremely hard to do everything right so that I might have an opportunity to give back. I only hope that someone in the NFL will give me the same opportunity that Abilene Christian [ACU} and Trinity Valley gave me.
Two years and four months after he was convicted of the sex offense his life was turned topsy-turvy again by Hurricane Katrina. He attended Trinity Valley Community College between high school and becoming an Abilene Christian Wildcat. His coach at Trinity, Mark Sartain, a 26-year veteran sums it up succinctly, "“Katrina was a total disruption of his life and his high school career.”
On Monday, at Pro Day at Abilene Christian University, his alma mater, Washington told the Abilene Reporter News that he hopes a team, any team, will take a chance on him, "“I’ll play for anybody. I’d play for the Afghanistan Ruff Riders if they had a team."
His physical attributes and playing abilities are unquestioned: He was a two-time ACU all-American. However, it will only be after the draft on April 22 and 23 that the willingness of the NFL to trust a man with Washington's past will be known.
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