Ex-Bengal Webster says girl was 16

Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Nate Webster's attorney said in court Tuesday that the girl he is accused of having sexual relations had reached the age of consent before the sexual relationship began.

In Ohio, the age of consent is 16, but Webster, then 31, admitted in a secretly recorded tape that he began having sex with the victim at age 15. The girl is a former babysitter for the Webster family.

Webster is charged with sexual battery, gross sexual imposition (sexual touching) and five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. If convicted he could face 30 years or more in prison. If the girl was of the lawful age of consent, Webster could go free.

“Something immoral takes place between Nate and” the girl, Webster's attorney Gregory Samms told jurors. “When it happens, she’s 16 ... and it is consensual.”

Webster's career with the Bengals was cut short by injury. Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis, like Webster a former University of Miami star, has been subpoenaed to testify in the case.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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