WNC Football Player Charged With Rape To Be On 'Dr. Phil' - WSPA.com

WNC Football Player Charged With Rape To Be On 'Dr. Phil'

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The family of a former East Hendersonville High School football player accused of raping a classmate is seeking justice on 'Dr. Phil.' The family of a former East Hendersonville High School football player accused of raping a classmate is seeking justice on 'Dr. Phil.'
HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. -

The family of a former East Hendersonville High School football player accused of raping a classmate is seeking justice on 'Dr. Phil.'

A trial date still hasn't been set for the case involving for Henderson County high school students accused of raping a classmate last December at an alcohol-fueled party

James "Matt" Bishop, 17 is charged with second-degree rape, along with Tyler Scott Garren, 17, Justin "Wess" Ponder, 17, and Vincent Joseph Curto, 17. If convicted, the former East Henderson football players could face up to 5 years in prison.

Before the defendants go to court, Bishop and his family will appear on "Dr. Phil."

According to our coverage partners at the Hendersonville Times-News, Dianne Bishop reached out to the show for help and to tell a story few in the public have yet to hear.

7 On Your Side was unable to reach the Bishops for comment Wednesday.

But legal experts tell us the upcoming episode "Football Star Accused: Did He Do it? The Alleged Victim Speaks Out" could ultimately spell out problems once the case goes to court.

"I think that any

criminal defendant, any victim or any witness that engages in publicity, that is speaking out to the media before the trial of a case, is pulling the pin on a hand-grenade and it may blow up in their face," said retired WNC District Attorney Alan Leonard.

Leonard says pre-trial publicity can

make jury selection longer and more difficult.

He also says too much coverage on a specific case can waste taxpayer dollars if the judge feels the trial is being compromised and needs to move it to another venue.

"The reason for that is if jurors come into a trial of a case having been exposed to information from some outside source that maybe right or maybe wrong that could influence their decisions."

Leonard says attorney have an ethical obligation to discourage any pre-trial publicity. Both defendants and victims are free to speak to the media unless the judge issues a gag order.

Along with the Bishops, the victim will also make an appearance during the two one-hour episodes which air Sept. 12 and Sept. 13.

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