Ex-Plant High standout Robert Marve faces battery, sexual assault allegations

Times (2013) Robert Marve talks to the media after participating in the Bucs\u2019 rookie minicamp as a tryout in 2013. He never played in the NFL and after two CFL seasons retired from football in 2015.
Times (2013) Robert Marve talks to the media after participating in the Bucs\u2019 rookie minicamp as a tryout in 2013. He never played in the NFL and after two CFL seasons retired from football in 2015.
Published July 12, 2018

TAMPA — Former Plant High School and University of Miami quarterback Robert Marve has been accused of sexual assault and battery, according to police and court records.

Channing Tomes, 27, an ex-girlfriend who said she has known Marve since 2016, filed for a restraining order in Hillsborough Circuit Court this week, alleging that he struck her in the face, chest and body, and stomped on her throat.

"(Marve) is psychotically obsessed and told me he would kill me, has informed that even if I go away, he will find me," Tomes said in her petition, which is scheduled to go before a judge July 19. She spoke briefly with the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday and has talked about the allegations on social media.

Marve, 29, is the athletic director at Tampa Sports Academy, co-owner of the Kaleo/Marve Quarterback Academy in Tampa and works with quarterbacks at his high school alma mater. His father, Eugene Marve, played 11 years in the NFL, including four years with the Bucs.

Robert Marve has not been criminally charged. His attorney Daniel Fernandez said Wednesday that his client denies all the allegations. Fernandez said that Tomes is employed in the adult entertainment industry and that her relationship with Marve had been "volatile."

Tomes' response: "I was in adult entertainment and also on the dean's list at school. It's not an excuse to beat and rape a woman."

Florida's top high school football player in 2006, Marve began dating Tomes five months ago, but the two are no longer together, Fernandez said. He said his client would not oppose a restraining order, believing it is in their mutual interest.

Tomes' petition for protection against dating violence said the two began dating in March and were soon discussing living together.

On or about May 20, Marve and Tomes were at a club when he became angry and bit her lip. "He told me we were leaving, and I knew what was going to happen next," she wrote in the petition.

Marve, who is 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds, took her outside to his vehicle and struck her in the face, causing her head to dent his truck, the petition said. She fell unconscious, then he dragged her into his truck and began ripping off her clothes. He then struck her in the face, chest and body, the petition said.

She cried and begged him to stop, the petition said, and later, beat her as he drove them to his home. When they got to his home on El Prado Boulevard in Tampa, he dragged her inside and sexually assaulted her, the petition said.

Tomes said the couple traveled in July to Key West, where they stayed at the La Concha Hotel and Spa.

While there, Marve went through her phone and became angry after he saw a message from another man on Instagram. She said he struck her in the forehead and eye, and continued to hit her in the mouth. Her legs, arms, chest and face were covered in bruises, she said.

"I remember being on the ground and him stomping on my throat. At this point I remember rolling over, gasping for air, and after that I do not remember anything else," Tomes wrote in the petition.

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At 8 p.m. July 7, a Key West Police officer was dispatched to Key West International Airport after a deputy saw Tomes with "bruises all over her face, neck and legs." Tomes' mother had told the Monroe County Sheriff's Office that her daughter had been battered by Marve in Key West and the mother was afraid for her daughter's safety, a sheriff's report said.

Tomes, listed in the report as living in Brandon, gave the deputy a written statement about what happened in the hotel room.

The deputy allowed Tomes to board the airplane but detained Marve at the terminal. The statement said that when Tomes saw Marve "walking in the airport, she began to shake with fear." He later left in an Uber. Marve was not arrested, Key West police said, and the incident remains under investigation.

In 2006, Marve broke Tim Tebow's state high school records for passing yards (4,380), touchdowns (48) and completions (280) in a single season, leading Plant to the Class 4A title.

After initially committing to Alabama, Marve signed with Miami. He was suspended from the 2008 opener because of a team sanction related to his arrest on a misdemeanor mischief charge from the previous year. Marve ended the '08 season with another suspension for the Emerald Bowl because of a violation of team academic rules.

Marve transferred to Purdue in 2009 to finish his college career. In 2011 he was one of the players Miami booster Nevin Shapiro mentioned in a Yahoo Sports story about improprieties with the football program.

Shapiro told Yahoo that he developed a close relationship with Marve, partying with him at exclusive Miami dance and strip clubs, taking him to a high-end restaurant, giving him cash and offering incentives for good plays.

The allegations never jeopardized Marve's eligibility at Purdue. He played two seasons in the Canadian Football League before announcing his retirement from football in 2015.

He has since spent his time working with local quarterbacks. John Kaleo, a former Tampa Bay Storm player who runs the quarterback academy with Marve, said he could not comment on the allegations.

Times senior news researcher John Martin and staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this reporter.