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Former High School Football Player Gets 16 Years For Sexual Assault

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Demarco Whitley, 18, is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault. (Credit: Rolling Meadows Police Department)

Demarco Whitley, 18, is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault. (Credit: Rolling Meadows Police Department)

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UPDATED 11/01/11 1:33 p.m.

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (CBS) — A former high school football player will spend the next 16 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Demarco Whitley, now 19, was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Thomas P. Fecarotta at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Whitley, a former football player at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, had faced a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison.

He was convicted last month of felony criminal sexual assault in a bench trial before Judge Fecarotta, for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in January 2010.

Whitley said the sex was consensual, but Fecarotta didn’t believe it.

During victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing, Whitley’s victim took the stand. In a shaky voice and fighting back tears, she said her life has changed forever.

She said she lives with nightmares, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, and loss of self-esteem.

She said she will sleep again knowing Whitley will be locked up for a long time.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Maria McCarthy asked: “What has the defendant done to deserve the minimum? The first time he entered the sport of committing crime, he hit it out of the park, committing a savage and horrific rape; a complete and total violation of the victim’s body, mind and soul.”

Whitley was given the opportunity to address the court before the sentencing was handed down.

“Judge, I want you to know, as you can see, I’m not that type of person,” he said. “I’m sorry to the family … anyone who was hurt. I would do anything to change this. I’m sorry.” He did not mention his victim.

Then he sat down, buried his head in his face and sobbed loudly.

During his trial, Whitley testified the sexual meeting with the victim was arranged for him earlier that day by his friend and football teammate, Pierre Washington-Steel, who knew the Rolling Meadows girl and drove him to meet her that evening.

The sexual activity occurred in Washington-Steel’s car barely an hour before the sedan slammed into a utility pole as Whitley and Washington-Steel returned to their homes in DuPage County.

The 17-year-old Washington-Steel died from his injuries days after the crash, while Whitley was severely hurt. Both were popular players on Glenbard West’s powerhouse football team during its 2009 season.

While contending the girl agreed to have sex with him, Whitley acknowledged he had never met her before, never asked her name, never gave him her name and said Washington-Steel had never arranged any similar encounters.

Whitley also admitted he at first lied to Rolling Meadows police when questioned, telling them he couldn’t remember anything about the sexual encounter because of his crash injuries.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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