Saints Tackle Pittman Jailed
Oct. 24, 1998
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Julian Pittman was in the Leon County Jail on Saturday, ending a week that began with him playing in his first NFL game.
Pittman was jailed Friday for violating his probation on a 1997 burglary charge. A judge must decide whether to sentence him to prison or to modify his probation.
He could get 3 1/2 years and he'll likely lose nearly $170,000 in pay and bonuses. In May, Pittman was charged with violating his probation on a 1997 burglary charge by buying alcohol for a minor and other infractions.
Saints president Bill Kuharich was waiting to come to Pittman's defense, but wasn't called as a witness Friday. He declined to comment on the conviction, and said it was too soon to say what will happen to Pittman's football career.
``It's a personal vendetta,'' Pittman's father shouted after a seven-hour hearing. Sobbing and beating his fists against a wall, Roosevelt Pittman declared over and over, ``It ain't right.''
Bailiffs handcuffed his 6-foot-4, 286-pound son, who didn't seem prepared for the outcome and fought back tears.
In May, the 23-year-old Pittman was charged with violating the conditions of his probation by buying alcohol for a minor, staying out after his curfew, visiting a bar, drinking and getting arrested on a sexual battery charge.
While circuit judge George Reynolds said after the contentious hearing that he wasn't convinced a sexual battery occurred, he said it was clear Pittman violated the other conditions.
``It's quite obvious to me, Mr. Pittman, that you were given an opportunity in the first case not to come back to court, but you're back here,'' he said.
Reynolds gave Pittman's attorney and the prosecutor until next month to find case law on how severely he should punish Pittman.
Pittman's legal troubles began in June 1997 when, as a Florida State noseguard, he was charged with breaking into a woman's apartment and stealing a credit card from her purse.
He pleaded no contest to charges of burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card in September 1997. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation.
Pittman was drafted in April and signed with the Saints in July with a bonus-laden contract that included a $144,000 salary.
Less than a month later, a student told police that Pittman had raped her after a night out.
The woman later refused to follow through on her charges against Pittman.