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DVS 01-04-2010 12:38 PM

CFL general manager Eric Tillman pleads guilty to sexual assault on teenage girl
Wow Eric Tillman just was at the envelope and many thought he pushed it.

The Canadian Press: CFL general manager Eric Tillman pleads guilty to sexual assault on teenage girl

CFL general manager Eric Tillman pleads guilty to sexual assault on teenage girl
By Jennifer Graham (CP) 1 hour ago

REGINA The general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders wiped a tear from his eye as he stood in court and apologized for sexually assaulting a teenage girl who was babysitting his children.

Eric Tillman, whose trial was to begin Monday, pleaded guilty to the encounter in the summer of 2008 when the girl was 16 years old. He said he was "profoundly sorry" for what he did to the teen, his family and the entire Roughrider organization.

Both the Crown and the defence have asked for a discharge, although they did not make it clear whether they prefer it to be absolute or conditional. The judge is to hand down his sentence Tuesday.

Tillman, who helped lead the Riders to the Grey Cup championship in 2007, has been on paid administrative leave from the Canadian Football League club since being charged last February.

Court heard Tillman came up behind the teen, wrapped his arms around her, put his thumbs through her belt loops and pulled the girl towards him.

He was on a double dose of sleep aids and muscle relaxants that day for a sore back and employees had described him as "acting loopy," court heard.

He said he did not remember how he got home from the office or what happened with the babysitter, who he said was extremely popular with his two children.

When the charge was first laid, Tillman suggested there was more to the story and said he would rely on the justice system to air the facts. The Crown elected to proceed on a summary basis, meaning the incident was considered less serious than an indictable offence.

Tillman was hired by the Roughriders in August 2006 and led the team to a Grey Cup the following season. He hired head coach Kent Austin before the 2007 season, cut the club's payroll to meet the CFL's salary cap and worked to clean up the team's image after several players were charged over off-field incidents.

Months prior to Tillman's hiring, Trevis Smith, who was a former linebacker with the team, was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault after two women complained he exposed them to HIV without telling them he had the virus. In February 2007, Smith was found guilty and received a five-year jail sentence. He was granted parole early last year and was deported to the United States.

But Smith wasn't the only Roughrider to get into trouble with the law. Between 1999 and 2007, more than a few players made headlines for everything ranging from drug possession to assault.

Tillman has enjoyed great success in the CFL as a general manager. He led the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts to Grey Cup titles in 1994 and 1997, respectively, and has worked as a television analyst with TSN and Sportsnet.

Tillman also served as the general manager of the expansion Ottawa Renegades for three seasons before returning to broadcasting and ultimately landing the post with the Riders. In July 2008, the Riders rewarded him with a contract extension through 2010.

MangoKidHoops 01-04-2010 12:44 PM

I don't understand why he couldn't have just came out and admitted it when the story first broke instead of maintaining his innocence.

VanCity 01-04-2010 12:47 PM

what an asshole..hope he gets fired...

Stonezz 01-04-2010 01:24 PM

He's a certified bitch. Grown ass man sexually assaulting teenagers? Some fucked up people in the world

Apollo 01-05-2010 12:54 PM

Sounds like he's going to use drugs as his excuse. I don't buy that but I'm not the judge...

Ligeia 01-05-2010 11:44 PM

Nothing but excuses from him. Always in full-blast PR mode.

Stonezz 01-06-2010 03:07 AM

Despite pleading gulity he won't have a criminal record...

gdaytday 01-06-2010 10:53 AM

Granted I don't know all of the facts...but I have no idea how he came away from this with an Absolute Discharge. That is just something that doesn't happen with a charge of Sexual Assault on a Minor.

Normally you wouldn't even get a Conditional Discharge for that offence, which is the same but with conditions attached, ie, counselling, community service, probation, fine, etc.

Superjudge 01-06-2010 11:06 AM

You have to look at the severity of the assault.

His offence wasn't heinous.

Idiotic and wrong yes.

I assumed he'd get no time and a lot of councilling and community work.

Either way. People are dumb. You just can't make that decision, this isn't television.

DVS 01-06-2010 02:18 PM

If this case goes as reported I'd say that Toronto would have 5 Sexual Assault cases to deal with every day. Now I dunno if Tillman did everything both fully clothed but I bet these actions are done on the regular in the big smoke.

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