Men’s Basketball Player Arrested

A St. John’s mens basketball forward Grady Reynolds was in court last Friday to face charges that he allegedly assaulted and harassed Rachel Seager, a member of the SJU swim team.

At the Dec. 6 hearing, a judge delayed the case until Dec. 24, the earliest possible time that a trial date will be set. If convicted, Reynolds faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

The junior college transfer from Alabama was arrested on Sunday, Nov. 17 after allegedly assaulting Seager in his Hollis Hall suite. According to the police report, Reynolds allegedly threw Seager into a wall twice and then to the floor, causing the sophomore to dislocate her kneecap.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. when a Resident Assistant on duty was alerted to a disturbance on the fifth floor. Upon arriving to the room, the Resident Assistant found Seager, who also lives in Hollis Hall, crying and clutching her knee on the floor of the suiteís common area.

Public Safety was called by the Resident Assistant, as well as an ambulance, and Public Safety in turn called local authorities at the 107th Precinct.

Seager was treated at Mary Immaculate Hospital and released the next day. According to police, Reynolds was released on $500 bail the same day.

According to a Public Safety source who wishes to remain anonymous, police initially asked Reynolds if he wanted to press charges against Seager, but he declined. However, he did tell authorities that Seager was a stalker and that he pushed her against the wall twice.

Reynolds was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, both misdemeanors. A temporary order of protection, directing Reynolds to stay away from Seager, was issued at Reynolds’ arraignment, where he pleaded innocent, according to a published report.

The University was contacted by The Torch for comment on the situation, but officials declined due to an impending internal investigation.

“The University is conducting its own inquiry,” said Jody Fisher, director of Media Relations. “In accordance with our Student Life procedures, we will not be elaborating on the details of the situation.”

The University did release a statement (see box at right) on Dec. 5 concerning the incident and described what it was doing to piece together information to formally make a decision on the matter.

Both parties received letters from Mary Morgan, the Universityís coordinator of Judicial Affairs, warning Reynolds, Seager and their friends to stay away from each other. Morgan said that these letters are ìvery consistentî when dealing with matters that involve two St. Johnís students.

Under the policy outlined in the 2002-2003 Residence Life Handbook, Reynolds will appear before the Residential Village Student Conduct Board, which is composed of students from the residence halls who have been trained to hear student judicial cases.

The Conduct Board may impose all sanctions on Reynolds except expulsion from the University or permanent dismissal from the Residential Village. If the board feels that either of those actions should be taken, they will refer the case to Lyn Krueger, the acting dean of Residence Life, or the dean of Student Life, Jose Rodriguez.

Reynolds is being represented by Oscar Holt, a St. Johnís law professor and one of the coaches of the Red Storm Mock Trial Team. Holt also played basketball at SJU in 1972-73.

While charges are pending, Reynolds remains on the basketball team.