Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Huntley Johnson, lawyer for recently released Steelers running back Chris Rainey, said that his client did not slap his girlfriend last week which led to Rainey’s arrest, and also questioned a possible disgruntled neighbor’s testimony to the police.
Johnson told 93.7 The Fan’s Starkey and Miller Show with Colin Dunlap on Monday that Rainey’s girlfriend was not hit in any way by his client.
“The young lady has been extremely clear that Chris did not strike her,” Johnson said. “(There are) allegations (of Rainey slapping the woman) from one of the witnesses, who is one of Mr. Rainey’s next door neighbors that there may or may not been some unpleasant history with in the past. Just say that we looked into that and I am not sure anybody else has.”
According to Gainesville Police, Rainey slapped the woman and pulled her out of a car in an attempt to get his cell phone out of her purse. He chased her when she ran away, grabbing her bag and knocking them both to the ground.
“The next door neighbor said that there was a slap,” Johnson said. “The victim said there was not a slap. We have other witnesses that say that there was never a slap. There are no marks on here whatsoever. Chris Rainey is not the biggest guy in the NFL but he is not a wimp. If he had hit her with his open hand she would’ve been marked.”
Johnson said that he believes there was a tussle over a backpack that had Rainey’s cell phone in it and that was the extent of the incident.
“It was immature actions on his and her part, but immaturity a crime doesn’t make,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that if the state doesn’t drop the charges against Rainey that he expects to go to trial.
Other highlights of the interview with Johnson include:
* On whether the Steelers had a conversation with Rainey at any point telling him any incident would result in his release: “I am going to have to guess and say that didn’t occur. It may have occurred but I was not made aware of that.”
* On if he thinks Rainey was made an example of because of Alameda Ta’amu’s recent arrest: “ … I do know who Ben Roethlisberger is and I would say that it would go back to him and the Steelers being very sensitive about the criticism they took in the national media about that.”
* On if Chris Rainey has a gambling problem: “I don’t know that. He may. My understanding of that was that he was on a self inclusion list for another casino that was affiliated with the casino he received the trespass at. A gambling problem can be defined in a lot of different ways. I do not know if Chris has a gambling problem. I would say that, if he asks me, or if he doesn’t ask me, he needs to stay out of any and all casinos to show all those who are interested that he doesn’t have a gambling need. Whether he has a problem is up for interpretation.”
* On his feeling about the Steelers: “I was at Chris’ apartment the other day and he has Steelers memorabilia all over his apartment. I know it is too late for the Steelers, but he is heartbroken that he was cut by the Steelers. He is hopeful he will be picked up by somebody else. He had strong feeling for that organization and, I will say, was shocked that he was cut from the team.”