New York Jets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham has been charged with sharing explicit photographs of a female friend. The woman is alleged to be sharing a residence with Mr. Cunningham.
The Union County prosecutor's office in New Jersey said that Cunningham was arrested Dec. 29 at a Summit, New Jersey residence. Cunningham has been charged with criminal mischief, invasion of privacy and unlawful weapons transport. Prosecutors allege Cunningham violated a law that forbids disclosing photos or videos without the consent of someone ''whose intimate parts are exposed'' or who is engaged in a sexual act. A prosecutor's spokesman also alleged a loaded handgun was found in Cunningham's car.
The criminal mischief and invasion of privacy charges are third-degree offenses that can be punished by prison sentences of up to five years upon conviction. The Jets say they are aware of the charges but declined to comment further on the arrest.
Cunningham will turn 27 years old in August 2015 and will be entering his sixth season in the NFL. He missed all of the 2014 season with a torn ACL. Since Cunningham started his NFL career with the New England Patriots, he has started 14 games and played in 38 games. As an outside linebacker, Cunningham has just 3.5 sacks in his career. He hasn't had a regular starting role since his rookie season in 2010. Cunningham's contract with the Jets will expire in March 2015, when he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.