You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Professional

  • US women blank Mexico for Cup berth
    Carli Lloyd scored a pair of goals in a 3-0 semifinal victory over Mexico on Friday night, securing the United States a trip to next year’s World Cup and a spot in the CONCACAF Woman’s Championship match on Sunday. The U.S.
  • Lloyd leads US women past Mexico
    CHESTER, Pa. — After the United States' path to the World Cup hit a snag four years ago, Carli Lloyd was happy to help send the team through smoothly this time.
  • Wings rally in 3rd, beat Penguins in OT
    Justin Abdelkader’s goal 4:16 into overtime capped a dramatic Detroit rally, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. The Red Wings scored twice with their goalie pulled in the final 2:
Advertisement
Associated Press
Former pitcher Roger Clemens, left center, celebrates with his family after his acquittal on charges of lying to Congress.

Feds shut out by Clemens

Jury acquits him on all 6 counts of lying to Congress

– Give Roger Clemens one more victory, one that offers validation – at least in a legal sense – to the 354 games he won as one of the most accomplished pitchers in baseball history.

Instead of hugs on the mound from teammates, this one wrapped up with hugs from his family in the courtroom, with Clemens’ wife dabbing his moist eyes with a tissue. It was a courthouse shutout for The Rocket vs. the government of the United States: acquittal Monday on all half-dozen counts that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

“I put a lot of hard work into that career,” said Clemens, who had to stop and collect himself and fight back tears as he spoke to reporters outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, a few blocks from the House office building where he testified four years ago. “And so again I appreciate my teammates who came in and all the emails and phone calls. Thank y’all very much.”

A trial that lasted into a 10th week produced less than 10 hours of jury deliberation over several days, capping an expensive, five-year investigation that is now another blow to the government’s legal pursuit of athletes accused of illicit drug use.

Clemens, 49, was charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing Congress when he testified at a deposition and at a nationally televised hearing in February 2008. The charges centered on his repeated denials that he used steroids and HGH during a 24-year career with the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Astros that produced a record seven Cy Young Awards.

“I hope those in the public who made up their minds before there was a trial will now back up and entertain the possibility of what he has always said – using steroids and HGH is cheating and it was totally contrary to his entire career,” said Clemens’ lead lawyer, Rusty Hardin.

After the jury foreman uttered “not guilty” for the sixth and final time, Clemens teared up, and one of his lawyers, Michael Attanasio, put his arm on the former pitcher’s back. Clemens bit his lower tip, and rubbed a tear off his eye.

“Mr. Clemens, you’re free to go,” U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said.

Clemens did not take questions after his brief statement outside. The jury of eight women and four men declined comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a statement thanking the jury and stating respect for the judicial process. But it will be hard for prosecutors to put any kind of positive spin on another disappointing outcome for the Department of Justice.

A seven-year investigation into home run king Barry Bonds yielded a guilty verdict on only one count of obstruction of justice in a San Francisco court last year, with the jury deadlocked on whether Bonds lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.

A two-year, multicontinent investigation that looked into possible drug use by cyclist Lance Armstrong was recently closed with no charges brought, though the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed formal accusations last week that could strip the seven-time Tour de France winner of his victories in that storied race.

The first attempt to try Clemens last year ended in a mistrial when prosecutors played a snippet of video evidence that had previously been ruled inadmissible.

“I think he’s gone through enough,” said former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, who was the top Republican on the House Government Reform Committee when Clemens testified in 2008. “We did the appropriate thing in referring it over to Justice. But hopefully this will put it behind him. He’s a good citizen.”

Advertisement