Lloyd Irvin – coach to such MMA fighters as Brandon Vera, Phil Davis, and Dominick Cruz – has broken his silence regarding his role in a 1989 gang rape case that recently resurfaced. The whole thing is pretty long and rambles but I guess Lloyd’d goal isn’t to get an A in English class. It’s to convince people that he’s not a gang rapist. I recommend you read the whole thing but if you just want the part where he specifically denies the rape, here it is (slightly re-formatted so every sentence isn’t its own paragraph):
The truth is that nobody knows much of the real story of New Years Eve 2012 nor the incident of 1989 at all. This letter is simply for those who have believed in me or at the very least reserved judgment until having more knowledge of the situation.
For those who have and continue to support me this is also so that you know your belief in me was not and is not misplaced.
I also want to add that I’m writing this letter as though I was writing a letter to my son. The one person I MOST want to understand my position and gain the wisdom I didn’t have.
What I am about to share with you IS an eyewitness account of what REALLY happened 23 years ago.
I’m not going to give you the sugar coated version some have told me to give I’m simply going to tell you the truth, the same truth I told 23 years ago
So for starters…
I was once 20 years old. I did things 20 year olds do… drank too much, partied too much, etc… Probably not unlike many 20 year olds, I made more than my share of dumb choices. I hadn’t found martial arts yet.
(I was 3 when I took my first martial arts class but I didn’t make it the cornerstone of my life until 1996 at that time I still hadn’t learned how to be a leader)
I’m not saying this to excuse my choices and decisions, as that’s simply not possible. I am saying my life and my foundation was different as an uncertain 20 year old than it is now as a father, husband and mentor at 43.
Recently some people have decided to believe things about me and the 1989 incident that are absolutely positively untrue…. and this is what I’d like to speak to next… I cannot control what you believe nor will I try. I can only tell the truth.
I told the truth 23 years agot to my mother, to my father and under oath in a court of law and I’m telling the truth today.
I’m telling you the same thing I told the jury and the truth that is STILL on record.
The facts are the facts and glossing over the fact that I did NOT rape nor have sex with ANYONE involved in the 1989 incident cannot and should not be brushed under the carpet.
I told the 100% unadulterated truth, just as I’m sharing with you right now. I did NOT “get off on a technicality” as some want to say.
Please understand… Before my trial in 1989 I was offered a plea bargain for “lesser time”… the prosecutors told my father point blank… “Mr. Irvin we are going to give your son a lesser penalty if he admits he is a rapist and if he doesn’t we will lock him up and put him away for a very long time.”
I talked to my mom and my dad. I was a kid. I didn’t know what to do. Terrified is the only word that comes close.
I’ve never seen my dad cry in my entire life not before and not since… but I remember his breath on my face and his tears in his eyes… “Son, are you guilty of rape?”
Just the words coming flatly from your father’s mouth … eye to eye I still tremble today just remembering it.
I said “no, no dad I didn’t rape her, I didn’t.” And with that he said…
“then you will not say you did.”
And so like my father taught me from the first time I could walk, I went and told the truth and as a result…. I was not convicted. I was innocent.
It’s the SAME truth I am sharing with you today… It will be the same thing I will eventually tell my son.
I can only hope that you, my BJJ and MMA brothers and sisters, judge me based on this truth of what actually happened 23 years ago. Not what some want to presume, guess or assume happened.
There are still many unanswered questions here, but they are just that: unanswered. Thus far no one has gone back into the nitty gritty details of the case to find out exactly what happened and what Lloyd’s role in it all was. What we know: 7 of the 9 men involved were found guilty. Lloyd was one of the two set free, and press reports indicated it was because he did not have sex with the woman when his turn (barf) came up because he couldn’t get an erection.
That’s the ‘technicality’ Lloyd references in his letter and if that’s all there is to it then yeah, he’s not going to get a lot of sympathy from anyone. But is there more to it? We don’t really know. Lloyd doesn’t really give us any new information that clarifies or absolves his participation in the incident. That doesn’t really signal well for him, but again … there are facts out there that are on the record, facts we don’t know. Whether these facts damn Irvin or prove his innocence, we don’t know.