Reggie Lynch’s attorney: “He feels like he is being falsely accused”

The EOAA recommended a two-year suspension and expulsion after two separate sexual misconduct investigations involving Lynch.

Attorney Ryan Pacyga speaks during a press conference held to discuss his new role as council for Gophers mens basketball player Reggie Lynch. Lynch has been accused of sexual misconduct and recommended for suspension and expulsion by the University of Minnesota. 

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Attorney Ryan Pacyga speaks during a press conference held to discuss his new role as council for Gophers men’s basketball player Reggie Lynch. Lynch has been accused of sexual misconduct and recommended for suspension and expulsion by the University of Minnesota. 

Jack Warrick

Ryan Pacyga, Gophers men’s basketball player Reggie Lynch’s attorney, said Lynch “categorically denies” every allegation of sexual misconduct against him, Pacyga announced at his office Wednesday.

“Right now what [Lynch] is most concerned about is that he truly feels like he is being falsely accused and he’s in a situation where how do you clear your name other than saying, ‘No I didn’t,” Pacyga said.

Lynch was suspended from the team on Friday by athletics director Mark Coyle, following an investigation by the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The investigation recommended a two-year suspension of Lynch, while another investigation — which was reported Tuesday — recommended expulsion, due to alleged sexual misconduct violations in two separate incidents occurring in April 2016, Pacyga said Wednesday.

Pacyga said he has requested a hearing and the processes for appealing could go beyond March.

“By the time it’s all over, it could be the end of the basketball season or even worse,” Pacyga said. 

Pacyga said Lynch has appealed the two EOAA rulings, but he said he isn’t sure whether the two hearings will be combined, though he said he thinks they should be separate.

Lynch “fully cooperated” with the EOAA investigation without a lawyer, Pacyga said, attending multiple interviews during the investigations, which started on Oct. 9 and Oct. 27.

Pacyga said that sexual assault cases often favor the accuser or victim. He said in both cases they were not investigated until 18 months following the alleged incident, which would erase a lot of potential evidence. 

“My experience when I walk into a court room in these sorts of cases is that your average juror naturally and instinctively wants to rush to protect the accuser or the victim,” Pacyga said.

Under Coyle’s suspension of Lynch, Lynch is able to practice with the team but not travel. Pacyga said Lynch declined to travel for the Gophers’ game against Northwestern Wednesday at 8 p.m., but a University spokesperson said Lynch did not have a choice.

Lynch’s former lawyer, Lee Hutton, declined to represent Lynch, according to Pacyga. Pacyga said he took over as Lynch’s lawyer around noon on Tuesday.

Hutton and Pacyga were involved with the 10 Gophers football players in last year’s case of an alleged sexual assault. The case ended with five players cleared, one suspended for one year and four expelled.

Pacyga compared the accusations against Lynch and the current climate towards sexual misconduct to the hysteria that led to Japanese internment camps during World War II.

“This is not the perfect analogy, but it seems to me it’s a little bit like where there was all of this hysteria when World War II started,” Pacyga said. “We had the Japanese internment camps and everybody rushed out of fear to do something like that.”