Septien Denies That He Sexually Abused Girl

Posted: January 24, 1987

DENTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys placekicker Rafael Septien told Mexican television viewers by telephone yesterday that he was innocent of the charge that he sexually abused a 10-year-old girl and that the girl's family had retracted the accusation.

But Denton County District Attorney Jerry Cobb and police from The Colony, a Dallas suburb where Septien resides, said yesterday that they knew nothing about a retraction.

"I want to clear up to the fans and to the Mexican people that I am innocent of these charges, and that the family of the girl who was allegedly attacked has already retracted the charges," Septien told Juan Dosal, sports reporter for the morning news program Hoy Mismo, in a telephone interview from The Colony.

"I am going to have to demonstrate my innocence before the court, since it is impossible to stop the case, even though the family, who are friends, have retracted the accusations," Septien said. "I am a father of a family - I have a wife and a son - and I still do not understand the reason why they made these accusations. I repeat, they are completely false."

Septien, 33, surrendered to Denton County officials Thursday and was booked on a charge of aggravated sexual assault. He was released less than an hour later after attorneys posted a $10,000 bond, said county sheriff's Capt. Jim Neal.

"He is not guilty of the charge, and we intend to plead not guilty," Jay Ethington, one of Septien's attorneys, said Thursday night. "It comes as a complete surprise to him."

A Denton County grand jury returned the first-degree felony count against Septien on Thursday. If convicted, Septien, who has played for the Cowboys since 1978 and is their all-time leading scorer with 874 points, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that Septien fondled the girl Dec. 27 in The Colony.

Septien is married and has a 2-year-old son. At the time of the alleged incident, he was separated from his wife and was living with a friend in The Colony, sheriff's officers said.

Cobb said the girl was a friend of the daughter of Septien's housemate.

Lt. Mike Carroll of The Colony Police Department said the incident was reported Dec. 29, but Septien was not arrested then.

On Thursday, the Denton County grand jury also indicted Officer Forrest Paul Wood, 35, of The Colony Police Department for allegedly sexually assaulting another girl under the age of 14, Cobb said.

Wood, who, Cobb said, had initially investigated the complaint against Septien, was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and released on a $10,000 bond.

Wood has been suspended from the department pending resolution of the case, said The Colony Mayor Don Amick.

Ethington, Septien's attorney, said he would investigate any possible link between the two cases.

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