When it was announced late last night that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter had taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team, it wasn’t immediately obvious why there’d be any type of college football twist to the story. Only there is, and it’s under the most unfortunate circumstances.
That’s because according to a Texas TV station, Hunter took the leave to return home to Texas, where one of his sons was arrested on charges related to sexual assault. In addition, that son, Darius McLinton-Hunter is a big-time college football recruit, whose future is now in jeopardy.
Five Prosper High School students, including the son of Major League Baseball player Tori Hunter, were arrested Monday on charges related to a sexual assault, police said.
The investigation into the alleged sexual assault was reported about a month ago "and culminated with the arrest of these five individuals today," said Prosper Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone.
Two of those arrested, 17-year-old Garrick White and 17-year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter, are adults. White and Hunter are both charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.
It’s scary and sad stuff, especially for the alleged victim. According to Texas state law, a “child” is considered younger than 17 years of age, and if Hunter or White were found guilty of the second-degree felony, they could be facing between two and 20 years in prison. This is as serious, as serious gets.
This news obviously puts the once bright future of Hunter in grave danger. Along with his brother Torii Jr., both were considered high-level BCS prospects, after recently completing their junior seasons at Prospect High School. Rivals.com has Darius listed as a zero-star recruit, but one whom already held scholarship offers from SMU, Texas Tech, Utah, Wake Forest and West Virginia. He was also receiving interest from Arkansas and LSU, and according to a December column from ESPN, had interest in attending Oregon.
As for the legal side of things, details are still sketchy at best, but while everyone is innocent until proven guilty, it does appear as though the police did their due diligence in the process of investigating. According to the NBC report, the alleged sexual assault was reported a month ago, before the arrests were made yesterday. Police also said that more charges could filed and more arrests could be made.
In the meantime, Hunter’s lawyer is pleading for patience from the public:
"Everybody is devastated," he said. "They're very upset. He's a 17-year-old kid. He has a very bright future; he still does. He's a very good student. He's a good athlete. He has a lot going for him."
As for Torii Hunter himself? Well, as you can guess, he’s devastated, Tweeting on Monday night:
This is very tough for a father. Thanks for ur prayers and support. Be Blessed everyone!
Needless to say, this is an evolving story, with many more questions than answers right now.
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