Report: Antonio Smith Child Abuse Investigation “Sexual in Nature”

By Vincent Frank

This is rather troubling. In what could be yet another scandal around the NFL world, it’s being reported that the child abuse investigation surrounding Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith is “sexual in nature.”

Per Mike Klis of The Denver Post:

“According to the Fort Bend County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, the child abuse investigation of Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith is sexual in nature.”

It was reported earlier on Thursday that Smith was being investigated by the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division in Texas. At that point, there was no information available regarding the investigation being sexual in nature.

The sheriff’s department handed the case over to the Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office back in February. Smith, who played last year with the Oakland Raiders, then signed a two-year deal with Denver two months later.

Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey Jr. had this to say about the investigation:

“Our Sheriff’s Office has received some information, they’re working with our office to try and find out as much information as we can about the allegation. At this particular point anything in reference to Mr. Smith is just that — an allegation.”

As Klis indicated, Smith has two children.

The NFL can proceed one of two ways here. It could decide to wait until the investigation wraps up to make a determination on Smith’s status. It could also place the 11-year veteran on the Commissioner’s Exempt List until said investigation is wrapped up.

Either way you put it, this is yet another black eye in a long line of off-field issues around the NFL over the past 18 months or so. Child abuse itself is a serious matter. Now take into account sexual abuse in an investigation, and it becomes that much more severe.

Photo: USA Today Sports