O.J. Simpson is currently in a Nevada prison after he was convicted in 2008 of 12 counts of burglary, kidnapping, assault and coercion, and other offenses, stemming from an incident in which he and a group of co-conspirators entered a Las Vegas hotel and stole hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from two men. Simpson claimed he was trying to recover personal items that were stolen from him, but the group took a bunch of stuff that wasn't his, and one guy brandished a gun at one of the victims, and Simpson told the two men that they were not allowed to leave the room.
Simpson was sentenced to a minimum of nine years, and maximum of 33. He is up for parole tomorrow, and it seemed like he had a decent chance of receiving it—that is, until word started to trickle out that he may have jeopardized an early release by getting caught masturbating. And this is where everything gets super, super confusing.
In an "exclusive" story, the Daily Mail claimed that Simpson's parole hearing could be delayed or denied entirely due to being caught polishing the ol' Heisman by a female corrections officer during her normal rounds at Lovelock Correction Center sometime in June. The New York Post claims masturbating is "strictly forbidden at Lovelock," which seems a bit suspect vis-a-vis the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but who knows. So, I decided to call Lovelock to see what's going on.
When asked by VICE Sports whether masturbating was strictly forbidden at the prison, a Lovelock spokeswoman who would only provide her first name, Wendy, said the facility has an administrative rule prohibiting sexual harassment. OK, that seems pretty standard, but I never brought up harassment, I was asking about jerking it. So, does that mean that Simpson is actually being accused of sexually harassing a female corrections officer a month before he's due up for parole? Seems like a bad idea, but … O.J.
When asked if that is what the supposed allegations against Simpson actually entail, Wendy added that it is against Nevada Department of Corrections policy to release information regarding inmate discipline and for any employee to release inaccurate information. She finished by saying that there was "no one in the department who would have released the information"—meaning the report about Simpson allegedly got caught masturbating in his prison cell. That is all Wendy would comment on. This is essentially the same statement obtained by TMZ.
It all seems pretty convoluted, but cutting through the legalese, NDOC does not comment on discipline, nor release inaccurate information, and no one in the department released this specific Simpson masturbating information. So, at least for now, we can conclude that the reports aren't accurate. Of course, it's possible that Wendy was making a distinction between what was reported—masturbating—versus what actually may have happened—sexual harassment. Only that also would be weird: if someone at Lovelock told the Mail that Simpson sexually harassed someone, why wouldn't the media organization report exactly that?
We'll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow at Simpson's parole hearing—assuming it still takes place—a commonplace and unremarkable legal event that ESPN is broadcasting live for some reason.