Welcome to the summer of awful clipart
Our long nightmare is over. We can finally put this stupidity to rest. The Ashton Broyld case is over, and let us never speak of it again.
This morning in Rochester City Court, Broyld entered a plea to disorderly conduct in satisfaction of his original public lewdness charge, and was sentenced to perform 80 hours of community service and pay a $120 state mandated court surcharge. As disorderly conduct is a non-criminal offense, his file will be sealed and he will not have a criminal record. Sounds like pretty much exactly what I predicted when this story broke back in March.
This whole thing was just stupid. Stupid what he did, stupid how he was charged, and stupid how this plea deal almost didn't happen. Broyld appeared in court a few weeks ago, all set to enter a plea to disorderly conduct, but then things fell through at the last minute when the prosecutor insisted that his plea include language about him exposing himself which, at the time, Broyld was not willing to admit. That, to me, is stupid. If I'm a prosecutor (and I never plan to be, BTW), if I offer a plea to disorderly conduct in satisfaction of a higher charge, all I would require is for the defendant to admit that he engaged in some sort of conduct in public that served no legitimate purpose or caused a public annoyance, inconvenience, or alarm. That's what disorderly conduct is. Disorderly conduct doesn't require you to admit you exposed yourself; exposure or public lewdness would. For me, it would have been enough for Broyld to admit that he got angry during or after the basketball game, used a few choice words, and made an obscene gesture toward the crowd. Whether or not Little Ashton made an appearance to me is irrelevant.
Do I see the other side of the argument? Sure. He did what he did and he should own up to it. Yeah. I get that. But when there's a genuine issue of fact on one particular fact, but the other facts are incontrovertible, and those facts amount to a crime (or here, a violation offense), then just admit to that and get it over with. The fact that they had to wait a few weeks to finally get a disposition of the case just over that one issue I think is stupid and a waste of everyone's time.
But the whole thing was stupid to begin with. One thing is for sure: Doug Marrone won't put up with crap like that on the Syracuse football team, which Broyld joins this coming weekend. As his lawyer stated, Broyld is embarassed for his actions and putting his family, friends, teammates, and school(s) through this, but he looks at it as a learning experience and is excited to be moving on. Let's all hop on board and move on.
And if the authorities want to redirect their crime-fighting efforts on something that really matters, they ought to launch an investigation into the Big East Scheduling Offices. That's where crimes are being committed.
I tried to find the cheesiest clip art I could.
Folks, summer hit earlier than expected with the exit of the Syracuse Lacrosse team losing in the quarterfinals. Once lacrosse is over we usually take the summer off for the most part, as there are no games and not much else to talk about. But this year was delayed a bit due to some legal issues that we know you come to trust the Orange::44 Lawdogs on. And rest assured, we'll be here all summer with new developments on any of that, should there be any. We also have our usually Big East Football Prospectus planned for August to get you geared up for the upcoming season. We also have a few pieces we're throwing around that should appear in August as well. Moral of the story is that John and I will be back in full swing come August. But you probably already new that. Again, anything breaking or major happens we'll be back to report on it, especially if it's related to some criminal proceeding related to a Big East player. Otherwise, much like you, we're taking it easy and mentally preparing for the next college football season. Meanwhile, you can always check out John or myself on Twitter @JBren or @BH_Orange44. We're on there quite a bit... and Georgetown still sucks!
Labels: Summertime Is Easy
I won't apologize for the "lazy blogger" headline, because it gives me the opportunity to make you click here and take a listen. Or, for a good laugh, open this video in a new window/tab and have it play while you read this article. Go ahead, I'll wait. OK. Good? Let's get into this.
Former Syracuse turnover-machine and scholarship placeholder Josh Wright was arrested in Utica and charged with patronizing a prostitute third degree, and loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. If convicted, the patronizing charge carries a maximum of a year in jail or three years probation. The arrest was the result of an undercover sting (sounds like how someone might contract herpes) conducted by the Utica Police Special Operations Unit June 14-15. Evidently the girl dressed up as a sexy cop for Halloween was actually a cop. Josh should probably have checked a calendar.
In typical Orange::44 Lawdog fashion, here's the basics of these charges. Falling under section 230.04 of the Penal Law, "A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute in the third degree when he or she patronizes a prostitute." I learned in elementary school not to define a word by using the word, but evidently our esteemed State Legislature hadn't learned that. At any rate, I don't think I need to spell it out for you. It's a Class A Misdemeanor, which makes it a crime and carries the aforementioned jail/probation as possible sentences. The loitering charge is merely a violation, under section 240.37 of the Penal Law, when the person "remains or wanders about in a public place and repeatedly beckons to, or repeatedly stops, or repeatedly attempts to stop, or repeatedly attempts to engage passers-by in conversation, or repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicles, or repeatedly interferes with the free passage of other persons, for the purpose of prostitution, or of patronizing a prostitute." You get the idea. Max sentence is 15 days in jail and/or a $250 fine.
I don't think we much cared for Josh Wright's time at Syracuse (save a few games) and were almost relieved when he transferred his senior year. He's had his run-ins with the law, and this is just another in the series. Maybe we'll do a follow-up story here, maybe we won't. Josh Wright doesn't run this blog. But we're not surprised to see that he's still running the mean streets of Utica, NY and finding trouble. Just seems about right. Wright?
Really, the biggest thing to me that seems troubling is that Utica has a prostitution problem. I guess it makes sense, but I never really thought about it. The thought didn't cross my mind when my sister told me a few weeks ago that she'll be attending Utica College for grad school this fall. I told her she needs to get a job working at the FX Matt Brewery -- and I'll intensify those calls now that I don't want her falling into the dark underbelly of an otherwise beautiful ci----- sorry, I couldn't even type that with a straight face! Utica downright is what it is. But yeah, prostitution rings, kinda scary. Way to go, Josh.
There are a few other loose ends that need to be tied up on this blog while we're in the summer sports lull. Check back to Orange::44 in the coming days for some new material.
The Syracuse Post-Standard is reporting that Fab Melo appeared in Syracuse City Court today to be arraigned on a charge of 4th Degree Criminal Mischief. He was released after appearing in court, having an order of protection issued against him in favor of the complaining witness, and his case was adjourned to Domestic Violence Court.
CNYCentral reports it was an incident involving his unidentified girlfriend and damage to her car. 9WSYR reports it was an SU student, and the damage occurred when Melo reached into her car, grabbed her windshield wiper handle, and broke it.
I'm on my lunch break so this will be real quick. In short, 4th degree Criminal Mischief is the damaging of another's property without permission to do so. If such damage was done intentionally, there need not be a value of damage to sustain the charge; if it was recklessly caused, then the amount of damage must exceed $250. In either scenario, the maximum penalty is up to a year in jail, 3 years probation, and a fine up to $1000. I'm unsure at this point which subdivision Melo is being charged under, and I would assume the facts would bear that out. I'm leaning towards the intentional damage, since they are treating this as a domestic violence case.
DV Courts in New York have been springing up more rapidly the past few years, as a strong push state-wide has been made to hold abusers to account. Unlike other problem-solving courts in the state (Drug Court, for example), DV Court is not a rehabilitative court; it is an accountability court. One might even say the deck is stacked against the defendants in DV court. Cases are screened by a clerk, and if a case meets the eligibility standard, it is automatically transferred to DV court. The same rules of evidence and procedure apply, but I have found that penalties tend to be a bit harsher, and the DA claims to not have as much bargaining power as in a regular case.
Certainly if this is a girlfriend, and if she is an SU student, this situation will be quite complicated for Melo. He'll have to deal with the criminal side of things as well as the SU Judicial Board. With the order of protection in place, he is to have no contact with the complaining witness, or else he can face immediate arrest and prosecution for Criminal Contempt.
Without too much speculating here, this very well could have been an argument in the girlfriend's car that resulted in the wiper handle breaking accidentally. Not sure what the value is. I guess I'll have to wait until more details come out. At any rate, I will reserve my usual prediction of the ultimate disposition until I hear more. The case being in DV court makes it harder for me to speculate, especially if Syracuse's DV court runs the same as Elmira's.
The one good sign thus far is that Melo appeared in Court with Bernie Fine. So at this point, he seems to have support of his coaches, at least to some extent.
Stay tuned here and to twitter for updates on this case as they become available, as well as our Orange::44 law-dog analysis.