Former Cincinnati Bengal Nathaniel “Nate” Webster won’t have to serve the entire 12-year prison sentence imposed on him last year after he was convicted of having sex with a minor.
The Cincinnati-based Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals issued a decision Wednesday that one of the unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charges of which Webster was convicted in 2012 should not have resulted in a conviction because prosecutors didn’t prove that charge during the trial.
The result is that the two years in prison that count carried have been sliced off of Webster’s original sentence. Now he has to serve a 10-year prison term.
“The state did not present evidence of sexual contact between (the victim) and Webster during December 2009, and (the victim) testified that she thought that Webster had left town in December 2009,” the appeals court’s unanimous ruling, authored by Presiding Judge Sylvia Hendon, noted.
Webster was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old babysitter several times when he was 31 years old. The girl lived doors away from Webster; when her parents confronted him, he said repeatedly he was not having sex with the teen.
The teen testified at trial. though, that she had intercourse with Webster several times at his home and in his car.
The appeals court upheld convictions prosecutors won that showed Webster had sex with the teen in September, October and November 2009.
Court finds 'lack of proof' on one of the sex charges
“We do, however, find a lack of proof in regard to the December 2009 charge,” Wednesday’s decision noted. “The state presented no evidence that any sexual contact occurred between (the victim) and Webster during that month.”
Webster, 35, is inmate A665842 at the Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville, east of Columbus. The $40,000 fine and $3,400 in restitution he was ordered to pay the teen were unaffected by Wednesday’s ruling.
With the two years reduced from his original sentence, his prison term now expires in January 2022.
Webster signed a five-year, $11.3 million contract with the Bengals in 2004, but injuries limited him to a few games before the team released him.