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Saints LB Galette’s lawyer denies video shows his client


The Sports Xchange

New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette’s attorney is not convinced the video showing a man striking a woman with a belt in a video released of a 2013 scuffle is his client.

Galette’s attorney, Ralph Whalen, told the New Orleans Advocate that he does not believe the man in the video is Galette.

“I’ve seen it a bunch of times,” Whalen said. “It certainly doesn’t convince me that it’s Junior. I don’t know what basis anyone can look at that video and say that it’s Junior.”

The video was uploaded to YouTube in 2013, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Saturday that the man shown assaulting people on a beach is Galette, who is already scheduled to meet with NFL officials at the league office in New York later this month about his off-field conduct.

In the video titled “Spring Break 2013 South Beach Brawl” and published March 25, 2013, Galette strikes a woman twice with a belt in the midst of a scuffle, according to the newspaper.

The Saints said Saturday that the organization is aware of the video and sent it to the NFL office.

“We were made aware of the video and we sent it to the league office,” Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said. “There is a process this will go through at the league-office level and we are waiting on that to be determined.”

In the video that was recorded by an onlooker, a man who appears to be Galette fights another man using his belt. He then swings the belt at the surrounding group and strikes a woman twice with it. Later on, he shoves several people and throws a punch.

Galette, 27, was arrested for simple battery involving domestic violence on Jan. 5 at his home in Kenner, La., after a 22-year-old woman called police and alleged that Galette beat her. The charge against Galette was dismissed Feb. 19 after Kenner city attorney Mike Power said interviews with witnesses cast doubt on whether the alleged victim was a member of the household.

Galette, who sat out the last two weeks of OTAs and was not present last Tuesday when the Saints opened their three-day minicamp, was told by Dr. James Andrews that he won’t have to have surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle and it could be rehabbed through rest and rehabilitation.

Before the start of the 2014 season, the Saints gave Galette a four-year contract extension worth up to $41.5 million after he totaled 12 sacks in 2013. He joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and had 10 sacks in 2014.

Galette talked to reporters for the first time Wednesday at the team’s minicamp to discuss his offseason arrest. He apologized to Saints fans for the way he conducted himself since the end of the 2014 season.

“Really, at this level, you can conduct yourself as good, as choir boy as you want, sometimes the trouble comes to you,” Galette said of the January incident. “In that situation, there was nothing I could do. Everything, if I could do it all over again, there’s not much different that I can do as far as what this person wants for me out of my life.

“You really don’t know what are the warning signs for that. If somebody’s going to cross you and try to take everything you have, basically, but it is what it is. I’ve learned my lesson, and I just want to play football again. That’s all that matters right now.”

The NFL has implemented harsher penalties since the high-profile Ray Rice incident last year.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games after a video showed Rice dragging his then-fiancee and now-wife, Janay, out of the elevator in an Atlantic City casino. But Goodell made the suspension indefinite after the emergence of a second video showing Rice knocking out Janay with a punch. Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and missed the 2014 season. He currently is not with a team.

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