Ex-Atlanta Falcons player gets prison for molesting girl, 12

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) – A former Atlanta Falcons player has been sentenced to at least 12 years in prison for molesting a 12-year-old girl.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports 23-year-old Justin Crawford pleaded guilty Tuesday to child molestation and sodomy as part of deal that dropped other charges. The former West Virginia University standout also was ordered to register as a sex offender and stay away from anyone younger than 18, including his three children.

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Authorities have said Crawford’s October arrest happened after the girl told her mother that Crawford assaulted her. Authorities testified that Crawford’s wife reported finding Crawford exposing himself to the girl and later learned about the abuse.

Defense attorney Michael Eddings said Crawford had a “gross moral departure” after being briefly signed to the Falcons and released over an injury.