'My bad, babe': Former CFL running back pleads guilty for filming sexual encounter

·3 min read

CALGARY — A former CFL running back has pleaded guilty to voyeurism for videotaping a consensual sexual encounter without the woman's permission.

Jerome Messam, 36, appeared Monday via a video link with a Calgary court to enter the plea.

Court heard from an agreed statement of facts that the two started following each other on social media while Messam was playing for the Calgary Stampeders. On Nov. 11, 2016, they decided to pick up some takeout food and have dinner together and the evening ended with them having sex at Messam's apartment.

Three months later, court was told, Messam sent the woman four 10-second video snippets of their encounter on the social media platform Snapchat, which permanently deletes videos after they are played.

Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh says Messam included a "sexually explicit" message along with the snippets, and the woman asked him where the rest of the video was.

Walsh said that Messam replied: "Yo, you can't show anybody. I'm nervous to send it to you.

"My bad babe. I have to record it on my phone from my computer, and it's hard with my girl always around. It's a good vid I know, but damn, you don't have me stored in the spank bank?"

The woman made a formal complaint to police and the Canadian Football League in April 2018.

Messam had his contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders terminated after he was charged in July 2019.

In an April 2018 interview with police, he admitted to making the video. He said he didn't want the woman to feel disrespected and offered an apology.

"Nobody's seen it. It's been deleted and I'm just sorry that I hurt you," Messam said.

The woman told police that although the sex was consensual, she had no idea that he was going to video her.

"The complainant distinctly recalls that during the consensual sexual intercourse the accused moved/angled her body in 'unnatural positions' which she recalls felt weird to her," said Walsh.

"The complainant recalls that she was in shock after receiving the video clips and didn't know what to do or how to react."

Messam's lawyer, David Nguyen, asked Justice April Grosse to order a pre-sentence report since his client did enter a guilty plea and is a first-time offender.

"It was a difficult decision for Mr. Messam to enter this guilty plea ... but he is making it in light of the substantial hardship that he recognizes the complainant and other witnesses would have had," said Nguyen.

The lawyer said it's something that will effect Messam "the rest of his life."

A date for a sentencing hearing is to be set March 11.

Messam joined the CFL in 2010 and spent time with the B.C. Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Montreal Alouettes, as well as the teams in Calgary and Saskatchewan.

He became the seventh Canadian running back since 1955 and the first since 2000 to rush for more than 1,000 yards while also winning the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian award.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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