Law enforcement in Columbus, Ohio, confirmed a celebratory tweet from Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott's father saying the star athlete has been cleared of all charges following domestic violence allegations.
The office ofthe Columbus city attorney cited conflicting and inconsistent information in evidence supporting the filing of criminal charges, which came following a party at which Elliott, the No 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft out of Ohio State, was celebrating his 21st birthday. A police report filed that night by Tiffany Thompson said Elliott assaulted her, causing bruises and abrasions. But three witnesses told police they didn't see Elliott assault the 20-year-old woman, who in the report listed her occupation as "sex slave.''
Elliott's side has countered by saying the woman -- with whom the player clearly had ties, including him paying for her apartment -- sustained the bruises and abrasions in a bar fight that did not involve him.
From the press release from the Columbus city attorney:
After reviewing the totality of the evidence, the City Attorney's Office, Prosecutor Division is declining to approve criminal charges in this matter for any of the 5 alleged incidents. This is primarily due to conflicting and inconsistent information across all incidents resulting in concern regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to support the filing of criminal charges.
That's a lengthy way of saying "she lied.''
So Elliott, expected to be the centerpiece of Dallas' offense for the present and future, can carry on with preparations to begin his career starting Sunday as the Cowboys open the season against the visiting Giants.
But there are three more pages to be completed in this unfortunate chapter of Zeke's otherwise blessed life:
1) The NFL is obliged to complete its own review of the incident, and while the decision from law enforcement would seem like a strong indication of which direction the NFL will go ... the commissioner's office does what it wants, when it wants.
2) I assume that even if the falsely accused doesn't wish to pursue this matter further (and "sex slave'' talk might be enough to get me to just wish it all to go away), the the Columbus city attorney's office could contemplate charges against the woman.
3) Zeke's buddies like to refer to him as an "alpha male.'' As you sense from the video aboive, he is smart and he is personable. He likes going out on the town, he likes meeting people, he likes meeting women. He even apparently likes to occupy his time, at least that once in Seattle, taking an ill-advised stroll into a marijuana shop. But even the spotlight at Ohio State cannot compare to what he's about to endure as a Dallas Cowboy, and every action he takes, every alliance he makes, speaks to his level of commitment and character. (Why do you think DeMArco Murray took it upon himself to immediately advise Elliott to tuck himself under the wing of Cowboys icon Jason Witten? Birds of a feather, you see. In the best way.)
Tiffany Thompson may be all the horrible things Buckeyes fans and Cowboys fans and now, maybe Ohio law enforcement, believes her to be.
But she was also Ezekiel Elliott's girlfriend. And at least that fact is an indictment of behaviors and choices he immediately needs to outgrow.