Atlanta Falcons player accused of molesting 12-year-old girl

A former Hardaway High School football star who just signed on with the Atlanta Falcons this past May was arrested Saturday on charges of having sex with a 12-year-old girl.

Columbus police said Justin Crawford, 23, is charged with aggravated child molestation, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes. He’s being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.

During Crawford’s preliminary hearing Monday, police said his wife awoke at 5 a.m. Saturday and walked into her living room, where she saw her husband had an erection as he stood over a 12-year-old girl.

The wife went back to sleep in their home off Wynnton Road, but she did not rest easy, worrying about what she had seen, a detective testified in Columbus Recorder’s Court.


2013 Dandy Dozen: Justin Crawford – Hardaway High junior running back. 08.04.13


Later she took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother, who asked what had happened. That’s when the girl reported she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, said Detective Mark Scruggs.

The girl was taken for a medical exam that included compiling a “sex assault kit” to collect any DNA evidence, Scruggs said.

When police questioned Crawford, he initially denied any sexual contact with the girl, Scruggs said. Crawford later admitted having oral sex and intercourse with her, but claimed the sex was her idea, the detective said.

Judge Julius Hunter found probable cause to send the case to Muscogee Superior Court, and ordered Crawford held without bond.

While at Hardaway during his junior and senior years, Crawford played quarterback, running back, receiver, safety and punter. He was named Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, rushing for 825 yards and seven touchdowns.

He started his collegiate career at Northwest Mississippi Community College for two seasons before transferring to West Virginia University, where he rushed for 2,244 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons as a Mountaineer.

Crawford was an exceptional running back who rushed for 331 yards in a game against Oklahoma in 2016, when he was a college junior.

Crawford signed on with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1.