Deadspin.com has made a name for itself during its history by posting sensationalistic stories about the personal lives of sports figures. The site doesn't have any journalistic standards. If there is a hint of circumstantial evidence pointing to something potentially embarrassing to somebody, Deadspin will run with it. Does anybody remember that wonderful Brett Favre penis story?
The site indicated today it has a story to run on Tuesday about Mark Sanchez allegedly "romancing" a 17 year old girl.
Let's get one thing out of the way. The age where one can consent legally to sexual relations in New York is 17. I'll work on getting a legal expert to answer more specific questions, but it does not appear this would turn into a legal issue. Deadspin has not even at this point suggested anything sexual took place.
Editor A.J. Daulerio posted a letter sent to him by a personal he alleges is the attorney of the girl in question. The attorney states numerous areas where he feels Mr. Daulerio would be in violation of the law if he runs with a story implying anything happened between this girl and Sanchez. He makes threats of both criminal and civil action. It also vehemently denies any "improper or illicit" relationship between the two.
Daulerio indicates at the end of the post that he intends to run with the story, which probably wouldn't be the proudest day in the history of sports blogging. The guy is going to run a story that will embarrass a 17 year old girl who claims its contents are false.
Considering the girl in question is allegedly at the age of consent and is not alleging any wrongdoing took place, it would be difficult to imagine any discipline for Sanchez. This probably will, however, embarrass the team and its quarterback. ESPN has shown it loves to run with Deadspin filth, and the media runs to stories that paint the Jets in a negative light like pigs to filth. Even if nothing illicit took place, the notion of somebody being under 18 adds a certain lurid context to the story.
[Note by John B, 02/04/11 10:59 PM EST ] The law firm on the letterhead is based in Los Angeles. Sanchez is from California. The age of consent there is 18. The attorney cites Connecticut and New York laws, though. We'll presumably know more about this on Tuesday.