Sunday , July 21 2024

Defending a Friend – Eric Frimpong

It’s quiet easy at times to sit back and forget about issues that deserved dramatic attention in the past. Case in point, the story of Eric Frimpong. Think back to last summer when the ESPN article written by Sam Alipour was released (The story of prisoner F95488). The story became the talk of the internet, and people were all for getting involved to fight the good fight. But over time, like with any media story, everything died down and people started to forget. Since the time of the article, Eric has still been holed up in Tehacapi, praying that the US judicial system would look at his case again, review the evidence, and see that he was deserving of a retrial. Well, again the US judicial system has let him down, a system that is supposed to stand up to the precedence of innocent until proven guilty. Today, Tuesday March 16th, the California Appellate Court affirmed the decision and denied his appeal.

I am not writing this article for public attention or acknowledgment. Believe me, there were ample opportunities to share Eric’s story over the past 2 years but I realized at the time, it would not have done him any good at the time. I am writing this to let you know that I, and Eric’s supporters, are whole-heartedly  standing behind Eric and the fact that even though the judicial system has failed, in our eyes he is 100% innocent. Eric was a terrificPicture With Frimmer soccer player at UCSB, and everyone of his teammates will attest to the fact that he is one of the nicest, friendliest, most genuine guys you could ever come across. Fact of the matter is that a young soccer star with huge potential has been played by a mockery of a judicial system; he has become another statistic in the underlying problem that is racism. A jury of all white ‘peers’ and a white judge determined that Eric was guilty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, again ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. They came to this conclusion even though there was semen in the alleged victim’s panties that belonged to her boyfriend, who admitted to seeing Eric with Jane Doe the night of the alleged offense. Add the fact that none of Eric’s DNA was found on the alleged victim, add to this the fact that her boyfriend had nobody to back up his alibi about where he was that night, add the fact that one of the dental expert stated he thought the bite marks were a better match for the boyfriend than Eric, add the fact that the police officers lied under oath about which dental experts they discussed the case with, add the fact that they staged Eric’s room (and clothes) a day after the alleged offense so they could take pictures as ‘evidence’, add the fact that Eric’s clothes were left out – unattended – at the police station when they should have been in a secure lockup, add the fact that the alleged victims blood alcohol was nearly at poisonous levels and her memory of the event and recollection of the night changed on several occasions. Do you see the pattern here and how it doesn’t make sense? Does Eric not deserve at least a retrial where he can tell his version of events on the stand? The most frustrating part is that there is so much evidence pointing to the fact that he did not do it, yet the jury were left with a “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” verdict? Am I missing something here?

From the very beginning, Eric’s story has never changed. His version of events is as stated from the morning after the alleged offense. I have talked with him extensively about the night in question and not once has he given any indication that he was involved in the incident. In fact, his version of events point towards the fact that he wasn’t even on the beach that night and the fact that the amount of sand found on his body matches that of any person in Isla Vista in a given day solidifies his story.
As we speak, Eric has been shipped off to Arizona, maybe this is all a ploy to bail the debt ridden state of California out. In fact, is it not a coincidence that instead of having a retrial that would cost the state thousands of dollars, Eric’s appeal was denied and he was immediately shipped out of California? Does it not seem like there is more than meets the eye on this one?

I am not asking you to spread the word on this one or to fight the good fight, all I ask is that you take away from this article the belief that Eric is innocent and share that knowledge if you read an article about the case, or hear someone discussing it. Eric is a soft spoken, genuine and honest guy who got caught up in a bitterly flawed judicial system, please think about him now with positive feelings and keep him in your prayers.

(as reference, I played soccer with Eric at UCSB and I sat through Eric’s trial in Santa Barbara)

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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  1. Thanks for being brave in taking a stand on your site. You are a great friend and have been all along!

  2. I'm really to sorry to hear about this injustice that is preventing Eric from moving on with his life.

  3. I've read bits and pieces of this story and to be quite honest.. in this day and age it's hard to believe this sort of thing still goes on. Especially in a country where they were open enough to vote a black man into presidency and yet, a poor immigrant can't get what seems … a fair trial. Yes, the young lady was a victim and someone should be punished.. but do we know for sure it was this young fella?

    Very sad!

  4. because some stupid girl got drunk and cannot remember where she was, an innocent man sits in jail, he is the victim here. this is a travesty and makes our judicial system look like a joke!

  5. i just read about this in an old espn issue… please don 't stop spreading the word… do you have anything on youtube

  6. i have just read about this story tonight, and was hoping desperately that i would come across some up-to-date-ish articles that would show Erics not been forgotten about – so thanks for this.

    at the risk of decision-by-internet, i cant see how he got convicted…i read one quote from the victims family that said "if you had been in there and heard all the evidence, you wouldve found him guilty too"…well, the evidence that incriminates him appears to be solely the girls (shaky) testimony, and, er, nothing else whatsoever. in fact it all points the other way.

    it is an injustice to make you scream, he must feel so powerless, but kudos to him (again from what ive read) for staying a remarkably positive chap, hope it gets better for him.

  7. Byrne,

    Hey its Logan from the Fusion! Can you email me please? I want to hear from you and see if you have had any correspondence with Eric. Me, my wife, and our families continue to pray for Eric!


  8. Way to go, Bryan! Great to see you today and hear you are so supportive of Eric. I knew him at UCSB and I agree with EVERYTHING you said in this article. My dear friend Kent Kafatia, from Malawi, went through a similar experience nearly 8 years ago; one Hispanic and the rest all white, a white judge too, and the judge didn't even blink an eye when he sentenced Kent to 8 years…an African-American who was questioned for a possible juror removed himself and said aloud as he left the court room, "he'll never get a fair trial" – and he was right! Santa Barbara likes to think it's cosmopolitan, worldly, and it is, so long as those folks are white…

    • soccercleats101

      Thanks for checking in Jorie – it was great seeing you this past weekend. Probably the only negative about SB is the court system and old school prejudice beliefs of a select few.

  9. Is there any updates on his case? This whole thing really saddens me. They let Casey Anthony get off the hook because the jury claims that the evidence did not make her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, yet in this case, they were so willing to jail this young man and ruin his future with circumstantial evidence. I'm also surprised that this story hasn't been publicized alot. I've never heard of it, but I've heard of the Duke case plenty of times. I wonder why… And yes, racism is a problem. It probably will always be. And I know some will choose to believe that it doesn't exist and others might say that minorities look for racism in everything, but the thing is, that's just not the case. Subconscious and institutionalized racism still lives within this country. And after watching Pbs frontline "A Classroom Divided", just made me even sadder and more convinced that this is a problem that is being passed on from generations to generations and is wasting the potential in minority youths everywhere. I long for the day that people just accept each other for who they are, humans, and not for what they look like. I hope Eric doesn't give up his dream, and remembers that God is with him. And I admire people like you who tell their story no matter what the consequences are. Justice will come some day.

    *College Student*

    • Eric is still fighting, in good spirits as always with a strong belief that justice will come at some stage! Because of good behavior he should be released later this year.


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