Roughriders release Jerome Messam after voyeurism charge relating to 'alleged video-taping'
Calgary police say charge relates to alleged video-taping of consensual sexual encounter with a victim
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have released running back Jerome Messam after he was charged with voyeurism, the CFL says.
A tweet from the Roughriders organization says Messam has been criminally charged after an incident in November 2016. Messam was playing for the Calgary Stampeders that year.
A spokesperson for Calgary police said the charge "relates to the alleged video-taping of a consensual sexual encounter with a victim."
"It is alleged the video-taping was done without the person's consent."
Police say the adult complainant came to police after being told Messam had the suspected tape, which police said had not been posted anywhere.
Messam was charged on Sunday, police said.
A statement from the CFL says the league is aware of the situation, and "commissioner Randy Ambrosie has informed all member clubs that the league will not register a contract for Messam should any team attempt to sign him."
TSN analyst Dave Naylor weighed in on the CFL's response.
"We are in a day and age — in the Canadian Football League — when there are charges of a certain type brought to a player, the league does not wait for due process," said Naylor.
He points to two similar events in recent league history. In March, the CFL voided Euclid Cummings' contract with the B.C. Lions after he was charged with four criminal counts, including sexual assault.
Teague Sherman met the same fate earlier in July when it was learned he had been charged by Ottawa police with two counts of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Roughriders receiver Duron Carter pleaded guilty in June to drug possession after getting caught with marijuana-laced cookies at the Winnipeg airport and was not suspended by the league.
Naylor said he's asked the CFL where the line is when it comes to disciplining players who have been charged by police.
"Clearly, not all 'crimes' or 'charges' are being treated the same by the Canadian Football League, but as to what that line is and how far on which side of the line voyeurism is, I couldn't tell you," Naylor said.
We have released running back Jerome Messam after he has been criminally charged following an incident in November, 2016.<br><br>As this is now a legal matter, the Roughriders will not be commenting further.—@sskroughriders
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CFL</a> has released the following statement regarding the release of RB Jerome Messam. <a href="https://t.co/d2GrEIgdUM">pic.twitter.com/d2GrEIgdUM</a>—@CFL
Voyeurism is described in the Criminal Code as a crime relating to surreptitiously observing or recording a person when that person could reasonably be expected to be nude or engaged in sexual activity, or if the observation is done for a sexual purpose.
It is also an offence to publish, print, sell or circulate copies of a visual recording obtained in this manner.
The Riders signed Messam from the Stampeders in February, where he played almost three seasons.
Both the Roughriders and CFL say they will not be commenting further because it is now a legal matter.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC's The Afternoon Edition
- This story originally contained a photo caption that said Jerome Messam had been charged with sexual assault. In fact, he was charged with two counts of voyeurism.Aug 08, 2018 2:35 PM CT