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Former Ravens cheerleader sentenced to probation for rape

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Former Ravens cheerleader sentenced to probation for rape

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) -- Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck was sentenced Friday to two years of probation, with every other weekend in custody, after pleading guilty to raping a 15-year-old boy at a vacation rental home in Delaware.

Shattuck, often gasping for breath and sometimes weeping uncontrollably during the hearing, collapsed to her knees in the courtroom after she was sentenced.

Judge E. Scott Bradley sentenced the mother of three to the maximum 15-year prison term for fourth-degree rape but suspended the prison time for probation. Shattuck, 48, must report every other weekend, for a total of 48 weekends, to a secure probation center, where offenders live in communal barracks and are assigned to various chores and community service projects.

She must register as a sex offender, continue therapy and undergo sex disorder counseling. She also must bear the costs of the victim's therapy and pay $10,650 restitution to his parents, who urged Bradley to put Shattuck behind bars.

"What she did to my son is heinous. ... She stole his innocence," said the victim's mother, adding that her son has become somber and untrusting of others.

The boy's father said the family has struggled to come to grips with what happened, noting that Shattuck reached out to the boy through her own 15-year-old son, whose message was: "Call my mom. She thinks you're hot."

The Associated Press is not naming the parents to avoid identifying the teen. The AP generally does not name victims of sexual assault.

Shattuck, crying so hard at times that her words were indiscernible, apologized to the victim's family.

"I take full responsibility for what I did. I never, ever, ever intended, obviously, to hurt anybody," she said. "I will spend the rest of my life making this right."

Shattuck pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of fourth-degree rape. She entered the plea just days before her scheduled trial on two counts of the more serious charge of third-degree rape, four counts of unlawful sexual contact, and three counts of providing alcohol to minors.

The teen, a classmate of one of Shattuck's children at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland, told police last September that Shattuck began an inappropriate relationship with him near Baltimore and that it culminated with sexual activity at a vacation rental home in Bethany Beach over Labor Day weekend. The indictment alleged that Shattuck provided alcohol to three boys under the legal drinking age on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 of last year and that she had sexual contact with one boy on or about Aug. 31.

"This was not a momentary lapse in judgment," said prosecutor John Donahue, who argued for prison time for Shattuck. "She groomed him, seduced him, supplied him with alcohol, then took advantage of him, all for her own gratification."

Defense attorney Eugene Maurer asked for leniency, saying Shattuck "has had struggles throughout her life," which included her former husband leaving her for a younger woman.

"It was a pretty devastating blow to her psyche," he said.

"The press has reveled in her fall from prominence in the Baltimore area," added Maurer, who described Shattuck as "a caring, empathetic, good and decent person."

Shattuck was divorced in November from Mayo Shattuck, former CEO of Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Nuclear Group and current chairman of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. Exelon, which has electric and gas utilities in Maryland, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, now owns Constellation.

In 2005, Shattuck became the oldest NFL cheerleader in history up to that time, winning a spot on the Ravens squad on her first tryout. She cheered for two years and was a part-time coach for six more years.

Shattuck also has worked as a fitness consultant and advocate, publishing a book called "Vibrant Living" last year.

After her arrest, Shattuck resigned as a board member of the Baltimore School for the Arts, a public high school.

Raeann Warner, a Delaware attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases, said she was surprised that Shattuck was not given any prison time.

"It just seems light ... and not in accord with sentences in cases involving less heinous sexual acts that were committed by males," Warner said. "I hope it's not because she's a woman."

Maurer said he did not think gender played a role in the sentence.

"I would hope not. ... I think that the notion that boys, or young boys, are happy about this kind of thing, I think that's a misguided notion and it's a relic of past thinking. I don't think the sex of the victim had anything to do with the sentence."

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player were seen plundering his locker Wednesday in front of reporters. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow. 

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have butterflies at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

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