In March, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Adam Gotsis was busted on a rape charge out of Georgia, casting a shadow over his professional football career and making the Broncos the NFL team with the most arrests since 2000. Now, however, Gotsis is in the clear after prosecutors announced that they were dropping the matter.
In a statement, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. wrote: "After a careful and thorough investigation, the Fulton County District Attorney's office has decided not to proceed with the case against Mr. Adam Gotsis. My office understands the sensitivity and significance of these investigations, but the evidence presented does not warrant any further action in this case."
The alleged incident took place on March 9, 2013, during a period when Gotsis was playing football for Georgia Tech. His accuser said that he had "placed his penis in her vagina against her will." She belatedly went to authorities this past February, and on March 7, Gotsis turned himself in to authorities with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and was subsequently released on a $50,000 bond.
Days later, the Broncos released the following statement: "We were recently informed of an investigation into an alleged incident involving Adam Gotsis that occurred in 2013 when he was in college. Our organization was aware of his arrest on March 7, and it is our understanding that no determination has been made at this time as to whether any charges will be filed. The Broncos take an accusation of this nature very seriously and will continue to closely monitor the legal proceedings. This issue was promptly reported to the NFL as soon as we learned of it, and we will remain in communication with the league office regarding this matter."
At Broncos training camp yesterday, Gotsis made his first public statements about the arrest, as seen in the following video:
"I'm just relieved that everything's been taken care of," he told reporters. "I've got faith in the legal system and got faith in the Lord and family and friends. Great support from everyone around me: Broncos, friends, family."
After noting that he's "just glad it's over with and I can just focus on football now," Gotsis acknowledged that the situation was "frustrating at times... . It's more when you're alone and you're thinking about it. That's what you've got friends and family for, to support you when you've got nobody else."
According to the NFL player arrest database maintained by USA Today, Gotsis's arrest was the fiftieth of a Bronco since the dawn of the millennium (one more than the next closest squad, the Minnesota Vikings) — and things aren't going nearly as well for number 49, receiver Carlos Henderson, cuffed in Louisiana on a marijuana beef in January. Henderson hasn't shown up for camp, reportedly because of unspecified personal issues. Then, on August 15, he was given a one-game suspension by the NFL for allegedly violating the league's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.
The infractions for which Broncos have been arrested over the past eighteen years or so vary as widely as the charges against Gotsis and Henderson. The database includes plenty of driving-under-the-influence and failure-to-appear offenses, but there are also some even more serious allegations, including those involving Perrish Cox, accused of fathering the child of a woman who said he raped her. Back in 2014, 104.3/The Fan co-hosts D-Mac and Alfred Williams argued that Cox's actions were worse than Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's beating of his fiancée, which was caught on camera.
In the end, however, Cox was acquitted.
Look below to see our picks for the nine most serious Broncos arrests, listed in reverse chronological order and deploying NFL Player Arrest Database text.
John Boyett Safety 10/22/14
Arrested assault. Accused of being drunk, head-butting and hitting a cab driver and trying to hide from police by stealing a shovel and covering himself in mulch. Additional note: Resolution undetermined. Team cut him the next day.
Elvis Dumervil Linebacker 7/14/12
Arrested for suspicion of aggravated assault after a road rage incident in Miami.
Ryan McBean Defensive tackle 10/14/11
Arrested on allegation of stalking in Denver.
Kevin Alexander Linebacker 12/20/10
Arrested on suspicion of assault and battery in domestic incident with girlfriend. Additional note: Team announced he was cut from the team the same day.
Perrish Cox Cornerback 12/9/10
Arrested, charged with sexual assault stemming from incident on Oct. 28. Additional note: Acquitted.
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Brandon Marshall Wide Receiver 3/6/08
Arrested in Atlanta after his longtime girlfriend claimed in an affidavit that Marshall hit her in the mouth and left eye March 4. Additional note: NFL suspended him one game after this, his third arrest in a year. Acquitted.
David Kircus Wide Receiver 5/20/07
Charged with felony assault after alleged fistfight at party. The other man in the fight was hospitalized with broken bones in his face.
Willie Middlebrooks Cornerback 1/1/05
Arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault, domestic violence and harassment of his girlfriend early New Year's Day. Additional note: Pleaded guilty, 36 weeks domestic violence class, 18-month deferred sentence.
Rod Smith Wide Receiver 1/24/00
Arrested on misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and harassment for allegedly choking and hitting the mother of his two children at the couple's home in Parker, Colo. Additional note: Pleaded guilty to verbal harassment, $25,000 conditional NFL fine, group therapy.