NFL linebacker Michael Boley's child custody case has gotten a whole lot more complicated, now that he's accused of abusing his 5-year-old son. The New York Giants player, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, was first accused of the abuse in June, but the child's mother chose not to enter her claim into the record during a child support trial in October. Instead, she sought a 500 percent increase in the payment amount, according to Boley's Atlanta-based lawyer.

According to the mother, the abuse took place between May 30 and June 5. Police in Boley's hometown of Gadsen, Alabama, conducted an investigation and the results were turned over to the district attorney. A grand jury will rule on whether criminal charges should be filed.
The Giants are aware of the allegations, though a team spokesman wouldn't comment further and Boley is expected to continue playing. But the claims have prompted the mother of another of Boley's children to file court papers requesting that Boley be supervised when spending time with their 2-year-old son. No ruling has been made on that case yet.
Some might wonder if the abuse allegations against Boley are genuine. A five-fold increase in child support is substantial, after all, and Boley's lawyer has pointed out that there was no evidence of increased need for the child. If the mother's claims turn out to be false and are tied to her request for more money, she herself could face charges.

But this is not Boley's first brush with domestic abuse accusations. He was charged with battery in 2008 after his wife at the time told Gwinnett County police that the player became "physical" with her. As a result he was suspended one game for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. If the accusations against Boley result in a conviction, he'll face much more serious damage to his career, his reputation and his role as a father of six children.

Source: New York Times, "Giants' Boley Is Accused of Child Abuse in Custody Case," Sam Borden, Dec. 17, 2011