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Elam convicted of sexual battery

Scott Brodfuehrer and Meghanne Downes | Saturday, August 30, 2003

SOUTH BEND – Former Notre Dame safety Abram Elam was convicted of sexual battery Saturday, but acquitted of the two more serious felonies, conspiracy to commit rape and criminal deviate conduct, following over nine hours of jury deliberation.

Judge Roland Chamblee scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 7, following a required interview of Elam by the probation department.

Mark Lenyo, Elam’s attorney, said he was pleased with the ruling, even though his client was found guilty on one of the charges.

“We are pleased the jury found Mr. Elam not guilty on the two more serious charges. It indicates the jury didn’t believe everything the accuser had stated that [occurred] that evening,” said Mark Lenyo, Elam’s attorney. Elam was charged following an incident at teammate’s Justin Smith off-campus house that also involved former players Lorenzo Crawford and Donald Dykes. All three will go on trial later this year. Dyke’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 8.

Special prosecutor Maureen Devlin said that while she was disappointed Elam was not convicted on all counts, the jury’s conviction of him vindicated the accuser and proved her story. Devlin, who will also be prosecuting the cases of the other accused former players, declined to comment on how this ruling would effect those trials.

Lenyo said he was uncertain whether he would ask Chamblee to reduce the Class D felony sexual battery charge to a Class A misdemeanor. a

For more information about this story, look for the story in Monday’s Observer.