Aqib Talib's accuser in jail on sexual assault charges

The Panthers were second in touchdbacks in 2011. So that, um, Olindo Mare signing worked? (US Presswire)
When new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano met with talented-but-troubled cornerback Aqib Talib this offseason, Schiano was impressed enough by Talib to give him another chance to play for Tampa Bay.

"I had a great meeting with him and we just kind of talked about life for a little bit,'' Schiano said last month. "I know there’s been some things in the past. But at the end of the day, the legal stuff that’s going on right now, hopefully that will get resolved. He tells me it will.”

As I’m sure you’re aware, Talib faces an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge after allegedly pistol-whipping and firing gunshots at his sister’s boyfriend. Originally, the trial was supposed to begin next Monday, but it’s since been delayed until April 16 because the prosecutor’s wife is expected to deliver their baby next week.

But making matters even crazier is the fact, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times, that the man Talib and his mother allegedly tried to shoot is in jail now. And has been arrested twice since the original incident last summer on separate sexual assault charges.

Talib’s sister’s former boyfriend, 41-year-old Shannon Billings, was arrested Dec. 10, 2011 on a sexual assault charge and on March 1, 2012 on charges of indecency with a child/sexual contact. He’s currently in jail on a $265,000 bond.

As the paper writes, “It’s unclear whether Billings’ history as a sex offender or his recent arrests will be admissible in Talib’s trial.”

Either way, it’s another strange storyline in a saga that’s lasted for the last year. And for better or for worse, we should know the conclusion of this tale before the NFL draft commences. That means if Talib is found guilty and sent away for a maximum of 20 years, Tampa Bay will have the chance to try to replace him.

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