FORMER CINCINNATI linebacker Nate Webster was convicted Wednesday of sex-related charges involving the teenage daughter of a former Bengals assistant coach.
A jury in Cincinnati found Webster, 34, guilty of four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Jurors found him not guilty of three other charges: gross sexual imposition, sexual battery and a fifth count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The jury deliberated for about 6 hours before reaching the verdict.
Prosecutors say Webster had sexual contact with the girl in 2009 when she was 15 and threatened to harm her if she told anyone. Webster admits having sex with the girl the next year, when she was 16, the legal age of consent in Ohio, but denies that the sexual relations began earlier than that.
Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Seth Tieger declined to comment on the verdict or other aspects of the case prior to sentencing, scheduled for June 6.
The prosecutor's office said Webster could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Webster could have faced up to 36 1/2 years in prison if he had been convicted on all counts.
Webster played for Tampa Bay from 2000-03 and for the Bengals in 2004-05. He finished his career with Denver from 2006-08.
Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL is still doing interviews regarding player punishments that likely will be handed down for the Saints' pay-for-hits bounty system. He said he doesn't expect to issue a decision this week, but the league is "in the final stages of working on discipline involving the players. We hope to do that very soon and get that behind us."
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* St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher denied a rumor that running back Steven Jackson is unhappy with his contract, and said the Rams are not interested in trading the two-time Pro Bowler. Jackson is coming off his seventh straight 1,000-yard season, and has 2 years to go on a deal that will pay him about $7 million in 2012.
* Washington signed free-agent kicker Neil Rackers to compete with Graham Gano to be this season's kicker.
* Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson was selected to appear on the cover of Madden NFL '13, the popular video game, in a vote by fans. Johnson beat out Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
* Their goal finally in sight, the Minnesota Vikings summoned star power to put extra pressure on state lawmakers nearing decisive votes on public financing for a new stadium. Running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway and center John Sullivan lent aid to a franchise lobbying team of nine, which is counting heads for an expected House vote as soon as Thursday.