CARBONDALE — SIU men’s basketball player Justin Bocot is being investigated by Carbondale police in connection with an alleged sexual assault, Carbondale Police Chief Jody O’Guinn said today.
O’Guinn also said:
• The alleged assault occurred between 2:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the 1300 block of South Wall Street. Bocot, 23, and the alleged victim, an acquaintance of Bocot’s, have been interviewed by Carbondale police.
• Police are investigating a report of criminal damage to property in the 800 block of East Grand Avenue associated with the alleged assault. The property damage occurred sometime after 9:45 a.m. Saturday.
• Charges have not been filed in either case, and both investigations continue.
Bocot did not respond to an interview request, and his lawyer said he believes Bocot will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
In a news release, Carbondale police said the woman reported sexual assault Sunday and said Bocot was her assailant.
The news release also said Bocot reported criminal damage to his property Sunday.
Bocot has retained Anna attorney H. Wesley Wilkins, who released the following statement:
“Justin has been fully cooperative with both Carbondale police and university officials and has every confidence that the result of the current investigation will exonerate him of any wrongdoing. While he both understands and respects the investigatory process, he sincerely hopes for a prompt and positive determination so that he can immediately resume his senior season as an outstanding student-athlete at SIU.”
SIU men’s basketball head coach Chris Lowery reiterated Bocot has not been charged with a crime.
“We are aware of the early stages of a police investigation involving Justin, and we are closely monitoring this situation,” Lowery said in a prepared statement. “It is important to emphasize that he has not been charged with wrongdoing. When the facts are known, we will act accordingly."
SIU spokesman Rod Sievers said the incident has triggered university action in accordance with the school’s student conduct code.
“The university is aware of the situation, and the student affairs office is waiting to see what should happen down the road in order that appropriate action can be taken, if necessary,” Sievers said.
Sievers also confirmed Bocot filed a report with SIU police Sunday after an incident at Boydston Center, an athletics building, in which Bocot was the alleged victim. That incident is under investigation. No further details were released.
Lowery's statement also said Bocot would not play in tonight’s home game against Western Kentucky.
A fifth-year senior guard from Bloomington, Bocot had started every game this year and was the team’s third-leading scorer.
- The Southern Illinoisan's Todd Hefferman contributed to this report
Update, Oct. 31, 2014: The Jackson County Clerk's office confirmed Oct. 31 that Bocot was never charged in connection with the incident.
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