Jury To Hear College Kicker's Case

Tuesday, June 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Four men and two women were chosen Monday to hear bribery charges against All-American kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who could face deportation if convicted.

Janikowski is accused of offering a Tallahassee police officer $300 outside a nightclub to release his roommate, who had been arrested after a dispute with a bouncer who wouldn't let him in.

Janikowski, a native of Poland who played for national champion Florida State, was a first-round pick in April's NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. He faces up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and deportation if convicted.

``It's nerve-racking for him, it would be for anybody,'' defense lawyer Steve Dobson said Monday. ``He's nervous and worried. He's like all of us and just wants the true facts to come out.''

Of the original 21 people seated for jury consideration, all had heard of Janikowski and many were Florida State football fans.

The defense will claim Janikowski, who began speaking English just six years ago, simply thought he was paying his roommate's fine earlier this year.

A two-time All-American, Janikowski kicked 50 field goals the past two seasons, and many of his kickoffs flew through the end zone. He was the 17th overall pick in the NFL draft, the first kicker to be chosen in the first round since New Orleans selected Russell Erxleben of Texas with the 11th pick in 1979.

Janikowski, 22, who had one year eligibility remaining when he decided to turn pro, did not return to school after Florida State's 46-29 Sugar Bowl victory Jan. 4 over Virginia Tech.