The Jets said Saturday they are not commenting on Internet reports alleging that quarterback Mark Sanchez had a relationship with a 17-year-old high school girl. Deadspin.com claimed in a post Friday that the site obtained photographs allegedly taken by the girl in Sanchez’s bedroom earlier this year.
“We are not going to discuss Mark’s private life,” team spokesman Bruce Speight said in a statement. The website claimed the high school senior – whose name is being withheld – contacted Deadspin and said she dated the 24-year-old quarterback after meeting him in a nightclub a few weeks ago.
But the girl then apparently decided not to cooperate with the website – and had her lawyer contact Deadspin. “We have learned that you intend to publish a story alleging out client has engaged in an improper or illicit relationship with Mr. Sanchez,” wrote attorney Richard Kendall in a letter published by Deadspin.
“Such allegations are entirely false.” As our client has repeatedly informed you and others, there is no story here,” wrote Kendall, a Los Angeles-based lawyer, who threatened Deadspin with legal action.
New Jersey and New York statutory rape law applies for minors under the age of 17. Any consenting relationship between Sanchez and a 17-year-old presumably would not violate those state laws. It was not known where the alleged relationship between Sanchez and the girl occurred. Sanchez lives near the Jets’ practice facility in New Jersey. He has previously been accused of wrongdoing. While a student at the University of Southern California in 2006, Sanchez was arrested for sexually assaulting a fellow student, but Los Angeles prosecutors later declined to press charges.
Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio pledged his site would publish more details Tuesday – and claimed the girl sent the photographs after spending a night with Sanchez. Deadspin last year published raunchy photos and voicemails from Brett Favre to former Jets hostess Jenn Sterger, which led to the gridiron star being fined by the NFL.
The Sanchez allegations are the latest in a recent string of headline-making controversies for the Jets, including Braylon Edwards’ DWI arrest and foot fetish videos allegedly featuring coach Rex Ryan’s wife.