Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Joshua Sills is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday for allegedly raping and kidnapping a woman in 2019.
Sills was indicted on both first-degree felony charges on Feb. 1, 2023 — nearly two weeks before the Eagles headed to Glendale, Arizona, to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
According to the indictment out of Ohio, Sills allegedly raped and kidnapped the woman on Dec. 5, 2019 in Guernsey County.
Sills grew up in Byesville — which is a small town in Guernsey County — and graduated from Meadowbrook High School, where he started as guard and handled kicking and punting duties. He later spent four years at West Virginia University before transferring to Oklahoma State.
In 2022, Sills was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. His roster lists him as 6 feet, 6 inches and 325 pounds.
The day the indictment was published, the Eagles placed Sills on the “Reserve/Commissioner Exempt List,” which the NFL defines as:
“The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player’s time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List.”
According to the Ohio Attorney General, “Sills engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will.” Law enforcement confirmed the crime was immediately reported and the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating the case for nearly three years.
In the state’s response to the defense’s motion for dismissal, the state lists the facts of the case as follows: After driving the victim and her cousin home “after a night of drinking,” Sills allegedly restrained the victim in his pickup truck and then raped the victim. Sills allegedly forced the victim to perform oral sex on him, strangled and bit the victim multiple times — which according to the state — left marks.
The state said photographs of the victim were taken the night of the crime and again a few days after for a follow-up. Those photos were allegedly submitted into evidence.
In one of the defense’s court filings, Sills’ attorney wrote, “the accuser claimed that she had been choked 10 times and for such duration that she blacked out and lost consciousness. The newest revelations are in stark contrast as to the original claims as documented by the hospital records that there were three chokings with no loss of consciousness.”
Both the state and defense have filed their witness lists — which include the victim and Sills. Photographs, medical records, text messages, Snapchat messages/history, and interviews are some of the pieces of evidence filed as exhibits to be presented to jurors during the trial.
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The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, with opening statements slotted for Tuesday.
The Eagles reported to training camp last week. Due to still being on the Exempt List, Sills is ineligible to join the team until Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him.
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