Prosecutors decide not to charge Gophers basketball players

Andrew Tellijohn

Hennepin County prosecutors decided no charges will be filed against two Gophers basketball players.
“Prosecution is declined because there is insufficient evidence to establish that the subject committed a criminal offense,” according to a complaint denial from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
The players had been under investigation for allegations of sexual assault since May 9, when a woman reported to University police that she had been assaulted during a party in which marijuana and alcohol were used.
The Star Tribune broke news of the investigation on June 6, citing a report that said the woman claimed “two players tried to have sex with her against her will.”
University police have never commented on the issue.
The men’s athletic department has been criticized lately because of a number of other incidents involving members of the basketball team. The latest incident was the fifth assault reported by police. However, only one player — Courtney James — faces any charges stemming from these incidents.
James pleaded not guilty to fifth degree assault on his girlfriend. He is accused of hitting her in the face with a phone book, throwing her to the ground and covering her nose and mouth with his hand. His trial is scheduled to begin on July 28.
Men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart, in a written statement released on June 6 said, “Men’s athletics takes any allegation of misconduct by student-athletes very, very seriously. Any student-athlete arrested or charged with a criminal offense will be immediately suspended from membership on University teams.”
James remains suspended indefinitely for the incident.
None of the other players have faced disciplinary action because they haven’t been charged.
“The department is committed to responsibly handling behavioral problems,” the statement continues, “but also committed to the due process that student-athletes are guaranteed by law and will not act in a way that would violate that due process.”