Texans minority owner Javier Loya has had his tenure with the organization put on hold in the wake of multiple sex crime charges being brought against him. Loya is facing one rape charge, along with five first-degree and one third-degree sexual abuse charge, as detailed by KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson.
The charges stem from incidents in May of 2022 in Kentucky. Loya, who is due to take part in a pretrial conference on August 22, has agreed to withdraw from all Texans activities until his case has been resolved. The NFL also confirmed in a statement that Loya has been removed from all league committees.
“Mr. Loya is innocent and has pled not guilty to all charges,” a statement from attorney Andrew Sarne reads. “He unequivocally and categorically denies these allegations and will vigorously defend his innocence. Mr. Loya has voluntarily taken and 100% passed a polygraph test which confirms his innocence and looks forward to being vindicated in court.”
Loya, 53, has been a limited partner with the Texans since their inaugural season in 2022. He faced a civil suit alleging sexual misconduct earlier this year, but it was withdrawn. If Loya is convicted on the rape charge, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Here are some other notes from around the NFL:
- News of another contract extension for commissioner Roger Goodell first came out in March. That new deal, which will be three years in length and keep him in place through 2027, has been considered a certainty to be finalized throughout the offseason. A firm timeline for ratification has emerged; Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that owners are aiming to agree to the extension during the October league meetings in New York. Goodell has been at the helm of the NFL since 2006, and it is expected that the 64-year-old’s next deal will be his last.
- Dalvin Cook has generated plenty of headlines this offseason with his high-profile free agency, but his legal situation has also seen recent developments. The 28-year-old was cleared to proceed with a defamation counterclaim in court stemming from the ongoing allegation of assault, battery and false imprisonment made by Gracelyn Trimble. In an update on the situation, Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the latter was offered a $1MM payout by Cook. The offer included the condition that Trimble send a letter to the NFL “absolving Cook of wrongdoing.” Trimble has already testified to the contrary, and court filings detailing the attempt to put the case (which began in November 2021) to rest via a settlement could strengthen her argument. Cook remains unsigned.
- The NFL has updated its personal conduct policy in a way which gives the league wider authority with respect to issuing punishments in a number of situations. That includes adding sexual assault to the list of offenses which can receive heavy suspensions, as noted by the New York Times’ Jenny Vrentas. The alterations come in the wake of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson receiving what was initially a six-game ban for sexual misconduct alleged by more than two dozen women. The suspension (which was ultimately upped to 11 games) was limited in part by the wording of the league’s previous policy and the precedents set by other violations. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds, meanwhile, that the new policy also gives the NFL the power to hand down discipline to players for violations which occurred before they entered the league. Incidents dating back to college, for example, will now fall under the scope of the league when investigations take place.