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Ronnie Belliard Sends a Man to Prison

Continuing with the "tremendous D.C.-oriented weekend stories," we have Ronnie Belliard's glorious court victory, although apparently the judge did not see the whole thing as glorious. If you've forgotten, some dude claimed his daughter was pregnant with Belliard's child, and there were various demands for money or offers to pay money or negotiations over money, and eventually the FBI got involved, and, well, now the guy is going to jail for a year (less than federal sentencing guidelines; the judge said it could have been longer if not for these so-called negotiations) and no one knows, or at least no one is saying, whether the daughter was pregnant, and if so, whether the child was Belliard's. Whew. From the Post-Dispatch, and bear in mind that Edwards is the dude and Belliard is the victim:

In Friday's hearing, [U.S. District Judge Catherine] Perry said she gave Edwards less time because of "the victim's behavior, and I'm not talking about sexual behavior."

"I'm talking about negotiations over money," Perry noted.

She said court documents implied that the player's representatives initiated the talk about money, but neither Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Albus nor Assistant Federal Public Defender Kevin Curran gave her an explicit answer as to what happened.

Like everyone else, I love a good baseball mystery. Anyhow, apparently Belliard paid $25,000 to Edwards for a paternity test, and the judge said the money has to be returned, so it's been a good all-around week for Belliard.

As a side note, the AP says that paternity tests don't actually cost $25k, which makes sense to me, because that seemed a bit high, so then I wondered how much a paternity test actually costs, and some Googling shows the answer to be a few hundred dollars, which means that not only did this Edwards chap extort money, but he extorted money at a rate of something like 62 times over cost, which is just a tremendous way to make a living.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 9, 2007; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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