Terrence Shannon Jr., the 11th-ranked Illinois men’s basketball player, has been suspended from all team activities after being accused of rape, the school confirmed Thursday.
The Douglas County (Kansas) district attorney’s office filed an arrest warrant for Shannon on Wednesday in connection with an alleged sexual assault in September. Shannon, according to jail records, handed himself in and was detained on Thursday morning in Lawrence, Kansas, on a charge of “rape; sexual intercourse without consent; and use of force.”
According to the university, the alleged event occurred while Shannon was in Lawrence for the Illinois-Kansas football game. Shannon, according to the school, was “not in Lawrence on official University business, nor was he a member of the University’s travel party.”
Shannon secured a $50,000 bond and was scheduled to return to Champaign, Illinois, on Thursday, according to the school. Shannon’s attorney, Mark P. Sutter of Illinois, claims his client is innocent and intends to go to trial.
“Since September, when these allegations surfaced, Terrence has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation, declaring his innocence from the beginning,” Sutter stated in an e-mail. “Now, several months later, my office has learned that formal charges were filed against him in Lawrence, Kansas, yesterday.” My client reacted in less than 24 hours, and he voluntarily surrendered to local police for processing and release. Terrence is innocent of these charges and wishes to go to trial.”
A spokesperson for the Douglas County district attorney’s office, Cheryl Cadue, told ESPN, “We are unable to comment at this time.”
Officials in Illinois said they were aware of a Lawrence police investigation involving Shannon since late September but did not receive “actionable information” until Wednesday when the arrest warrant was issued.
The alleged event occurred on September 9. According to the complaint, Shannon “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person… who did not consent to the sexual intercourse under circumstances when she, was overcome by force or fear, a severity level 1 person felony,” according to a copy obtained by ESPN on Thursday afternoon.
The woman is not identified, but several law enforcement personnel and another unidentified person are listed as witnesses.
Shannon faces a minimum of 147 months in prison and a maximum of 653 months in prison, as well as a fine of up to $300,000, according to the formal complaint.
Josh Whitman, the school’s athletic director, emphasized the school’s zero-tolerance stance for sexual misconduct.
“The University and [the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics] have shown time and again that we have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct,” Whitman stated in an e-mail. “At the same time, DIA policy provides appropriate levels of due process to student-athletes based on the nature and severity of the allegations.” We will rely on that policy and our prior experiences to correctly manage this matter for the University and the people involved.”
Shannon, a Chicago native, has been one of the finest college basketball players this season. The guard leads the Illini in scoring with 21.7 points per game and has made 40.8% of his 3-point tries.