Former CFL running back Jerome Messam asks for conditional discharge in voyeurism case

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Former CFL running back Jerome Messam is hoping to avoid a mark on his criminal record after pleading guilty to voyeurism charges in January.

The scheduling of Messam’s sentencing hearing had been set for Friday, but lawyer David Nguyen appeared in Calgary court to delay the decision while Messam’s defence team finishes a psychological assessment of the running back. Recently approved for funding by Legal Aid, the assessment is intended to speak to Messam’s likelihood of recidivism as part of the pre-sentencing report.

According to Calgary Herald court reporter Kevin Martin, Nguyen will be seeking a conditional discharge on behalf of his client, while the prosecution has argued for a suspended sentence. Both scenarios would result in a period of probation for Messam, but he would not receive a criminal record in the event of discharge.

The case is set to appear before the courts again on April 22.

Messam has already pled guilty to the 2017 incident, which led to charges filed against him after the adult complainant went to police in April 2018. According to the agreed facts of the case, he engaged in a consensual sexual encounter with the women which he secretly recorded. He later sent four 10-second clips of the encounter to the woman on Snapchat, but did not share them publicly with another party.

Over his eight-year CFL career with five different teams, Messam rushed for 5,689 yards and 34 touchdowns while adding 2,022 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 225 receptions. He was a two-time CFL all-star and was named the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian in 2017.

The six-foot-three, 230-pound back was signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in February 2018. He rushed 52 times for 205 yards and caught six passes for 25 yards in six games before being released after it was discovered that a criminal charge had been laid.

The CFL ended Messam’s career in the three-down league following the discovery, stating that they would not register a contract should any team try to sign him. The native of Brampton, ON is now 36 years of age.

In 2020, Messam was charged with an unrelated count of sexual assault stemming from a 2018 incident in Ontario. Those allegations have not been proven in a court of law.