Criminal charge weighed against Michael Phelps

February 4, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The fallout from Olympic swim champ Michael Phelps’ indiscretion at a South Carolina University party back in November may not be over. The Beijing Olympics star admitted to “regrettable” behavior and “bad judgment” after a photo in a British newspaper showed him inhaling from a bong. Phelps didn’t get into specifics, but that’s a piece of paraphernalia usually associated with illegal substances like marijuana.A spokesman for the Richland County, S.C., sheriff’s office said Tuesday that it’s investigating the episode and could file criminal charges against Phelps.

“The bottom line is,” Lt. Chris Cowan told the Associated Press, “if he broke the law and he did it in Richland County, he’s going to be charged.”

There is no question that those in the spotlight especially someone like Phelps who is looked up to as a national symbol of greatness need to take extra care with what they do in public.  But it seems pretty extrordinary to pursue a criminal case against someone perhaps smoking pot, based on a photo published without permission in a British tabloid.  How may photos are there of kids partying on MySpace and FaceBook?


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