CINCINNATI — Nate Webster, a former Bengals linebacker convicted of sex offenses against a Bengals coach’s underage daughter, was granted an early release from prison on Tuesday morning.
Webster’s attorneys argued before Judge Alison Hatheway that Webster completed the majority of his 10-year sentence, developed a strong Christian faith beginning in 2018 and stood a low chance of recidivism due to outside support from another ex-Bengal: pastor Caleb Miller, son-in-law of local restaurant mogul Jeff Ruby.
Hatheway granted their motion for Webster’s release. The Hamilton County Courthouse could not provide an exact date or time Webster would leave the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.
Court documents from 2011, the year Webster was first charged, indicate he repeatedly pressured the victim into sex “by force or threat of force” for much of 2009. These interactions began in June of that year and continued into winter, according to prosecutors.
Webster — who retired from professional football in 2008 and had been coaching high school football at the time of his arrest, according to contemporary reports — would be convicted in 2012 on three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to a decade behind bars starting June 15, 2012.
In the motion for Webster’s release, his attorneys argued that nine years of the 10-year sentence were enough to illustrate the seriousness of his crime; that he had experienced “growth and spiritual transformation” through his deepening Christian faith; and that he had been a well-behaved inmate during his time at Chillicothe Correctional Institution.
Webster’s wife, Jennifer Webster, wrote to the court that she hoped he would be able to return home to their seven children and “make up for the lost time” accrued during his incarceration.
Bengal-turned-pastor Caleb Miller, whom Webster’s attorneys described as one of the driving forces behind Webster’s new focus on religion, also wrote a letter promising to “continue to coach and mentor Nathaniel upon his release” and offer him “access to all my family’s resources, including my father-in-law Jeff Ruby, who agrees with the content of this letter and has agreed to do whatever he can to help the Webster family get back on track.”