A battery case against former Florida Gators defensive tackle Caleb Brantley has been dismissed.
On Wednesday the State Attorney’s office concluded that there was “insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction”, according to a media release.
“Having reviewed the matter, including interviewing the alleged victim and multiple other witnesses, it is apparent that there is no reliable evidence upon which an arrest or prosecution would be warranted or legally justified, and the sworn complaint is therefore being dismissed,” the State Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Less than a week before the 2017 NFL Draft Brantley was accused of punching a woman, rendering her unconscious, outside of a Gainesville bar. Brantley maintained his innocence throughout the allegations.
It all started at a group of bars located in an area known as Midtown, across the street from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the University of Florida. The argument began after Brantley allegedly denied a request for a sexual encounter with the woman. What followed was in dispute.
The Gainesville Police Department initially listed Brantley as the victim, after Brantley told police the woman punched him in the face and he pushed her away. A second police report four days later stated that Brantley punched the UF student, Chelsea Austin, knocking her unconscious. A sworn affidavit from a security guard who was working outside that night corroborated Brantley’s story.
With the complaint, and the uncertainty and foggy details of the night, coming so close to the NFL Draft Brantley, presumed to be a second or third round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, watched his stock plummet before he was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round.
Local Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson, who was representing Brantley, released this statement.
“It is obvious that the State Attorney’s Office did a thorough investigation into this case. It should be equally apparent that we agree with his decision. i spoke with Mr. Brantley and he is both relieved and thankful that this investigation has concluded. He is looking forward to beginning the next chapter in his live with the Cleveland Browns.”
The Cleveland Browns and Caleb Brantley released this joint statement following the ruling.
Statement from Cleveland Browns General Manager Sashi Brown:
“Based on our information, we understood there was a reasonable chance that the charges would be dismissed. As we have previously discussed, the allegations made regarding the incident were not something we take lightly. Caleb understands that we have an expectation and standard for every member of our organization. He’s a talented-young man with a great opportunity in front of him. Caleb must grow as a person from this situation. He is now able to move forward and focus on earning a spot on this roster.”
Statement from Caleb Brantley:
“I’m grateful for today’s ruling. I won’t take the opportunity the Brows have given me for granted and now I can shift all my focus on working hard to make this football team while also showing my teammates, coaches, the organization and this community the type of person I really am.”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 17, 2017