Sports

Felony charges against former Florida Gators football staffer dropped

Otis Yelverton
Otis Yelverton

The third-degree felony charges against former Florida Gators football assistant director of player personnel Otis Yelverton for alleged aggravated stalking following a credible cyberstalking threat were dropped, according to Alachua County court records.

The case alleged Yelverton, 51, called, texted and Facebook messaged the victim 40 times, according to court records, which included threatening to ‘blow up’ her car in a voicemail he left.

However, those charges were dismissed when the State Attorney’s Office did not find sufficient evidence against the defendant, court records show.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Yelverton released a statement following the case getting dismissed. It reads as follows:

I want to thank the State Attorney’s office for their thoughtful consideration of the evidence in this matter and the decision not to file charges against me. From the very beginning, I have maintained my innocence and trusted the judicial system - and others - that I would be afforded the due process granted to every citizen of this country. Today, I am vindicated. This matter was about two people that cared for each other, struggling over a period of time with the dissolution of our relationship. In that process, hurtful words were exchanged. While not a crime, I deeply regret using hurtful language and am committed to being more mindful of the things I say and the context in which I say them. I already have begun seeing a counselor to help me better handle such difficult personal situations.

Because I am a father to daughters, it is important that I make clear that there have never been any allegations of violent behavior by me, not during this process or any other relationship I have ever had. Violence against women of any sort is offensive to me, and never have I, nor would I, commit violence against a woman.

I am very much looking forward to putting this behind me and resuming my career. Unfortunately, I will not be doing so at the University of Florida. The University Athletic Association terminated my employment on May 29, 2019 before this matter could be resolved in the judicial system and despite my statements of innocence and repeated requests for patience.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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