A Division I football recruit who was expected to make his college choice on Wednesday's National Signing Day festivities was instead in jail, being held on two charges of rape.
As first reported by ThisWeek Pickerington, and quickly confirmed by a number of other Ohio media outlets, Pickerington (Ohio) Central star Roger Lewis, who helped his team reach Ohio's Division I state football title game in 2011, has been charged with two first-degree felony charges of rape, both of the same female acquaintance. Like the alleged victim, Lewis is 18 and is being charged as an adult after a nearly month-long investigation by Pickerington Police.
The victim has been described only as a fellow Pickerington High student. She alleges she was raped both in December 2011 and again on Jan. 6.
On Tuesday night, Lewis was being held on $250,000 bond at Fairfield County Jail and was expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.
That's a long ways (at least metaphorically speaking) from the signing day ceremony he was expected to attend at Pickerington Central, where Lewis was expected to choose between scholarship offers from Ohio University, Marshall and Bowling Green. The wide receiver prospect also holds scholarship offers from 14 other schools, including the likes of Ohio State, West Virginia and Arizona, stacking up well against a number of other top wide receiver recruits who made their college decisions on Wednesday.
He had previously been an Ohio State commitment, but his connection with the Buckeyes had fallen apart over concerns that he would not academically qualify for the school.
As Lewis' case is just beginning to unfold, it's uncertain how the rape charges will affect his college options, whether or not he is convicted. Obviously, conviction would end his college football career before it even starts.
The question now is whether the mere existence of the charges against Lewis will affect those college options. At the very least, the charges have changed Lewis' life, potentially forever.
He always knew that he would be in the public spotlight on Feb. 1, 2012, but the potential college star certainly wouldn't have imagined he would have been there for these reasons.
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