Gophers basketball player released from jail without charges filed

Charges can still be filed against men’s basketball player Reggie Lynch after further investigation.

Christopher Aadland

Criminal charges against a University of Minnesota basketball player were deferred pending further investigation, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Gophers men’s basketball player Reggie Lynch was released from Hennepin County jail Tuesday at noon after the decision was announced. Lynch was arrested by the University of Minnesota Police Department at 2:30 a.m. Sunday at his Wilkins Hall apartment on probable cause for criminal sexual conduct.

Lynch allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman in his apartment three hours before his arrest.

The decision comes after Lynch’s 36-hour detention period expired. With the postponement, charges can be filed at a later date after further investigation, according to a county attorney’s office press release.

Deferrals are issued when investigators can’t gather statements and evidence before the 36-hour holding limit expires. Typically, deferral decisions take no longer than 90 days, according to the county attorney’s office.

In an emailed statement Monday, the University’s Athletics Department said Lynch has been “suspended from all team activities indefinitely, pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Lynch, a 21-year-old University junior, previously played for Edina High School and transferred to the University from Illinois State University in 2015. He sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

In a blog post last month, head coach Richard Pitino said that he expected Lynch to be a “difference maker” in the 2016-17 season.

Lynch is one of five University basketball players that have faced suspensions or criminal charges within the last two years.

Last August, former University player Daquein NcNeil pleaded guilty to third-degree assault charges. He was charged in November 2014 with felony assault and domestic assault for allegedly strangling and beating his girlfriend. The domestic assault charge was dropped, and McNeil did not serve jail time for the felony assault charge. 

Pitino announced in April that sophomore Kevin Dorsey would transfer from the school, following a suspension from the team after a sexually explicit video was posted on his social media accounts. Sophomore Nate Mason and freshman Dupree McBrayer were also suspended for a team rule violation, though it is unclear whether they were involved in the video.