The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/01/12 at 01:00 PM ET
Updated 2x at 12:08 PM: Red Wings prospect Max Nicastro was kicked out of Boston University and more or less became a non-entity when he was charged with rape earlier this year, but having seen his college hockey and academic hopes disappear, and perhaps having placed his professional career in great jeopardy, the Boston Herald’s Matt Stout reports that Nicastro can at least breathe a sigh of relief as the criminal charges against him have been dropped:
Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against a former Boston University hockey player, saying during a brief hearing today in Brighton District Court they are no longer pursuing the case — without detailing their reasons. Flanked by his mother and lawyer, Max NiCastro, 22, said he is “relieved” to move on from the case and called the months since his Feb. 19 arrest a “hard road.”
“I’m just happy it’s done,” the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native said. “My friends and family have been with me the whole time.”
His attorney, Hugh Curran, said NiCastro maintained his innocence throughout the case, but noted “there are no winners” in difficult cases like these.
“I asked everybody to keep an open mind and let the experts do a thorough investigation,” Curran said in a brief interview outside the courthouse. “And that’s what they did. They spent four months, interviewed witnesses, examined all the evidence and declined to prosecute, which speaks volumes.”
<>Update: According to the Daily Free Press’s Emily Overholt, Nicastro will continue his education somewhere…
Curran said Nicastro’s major priority moving forward is to continue his education.
“He’s three years into a degree from Boston University, and he wants to complete that process,” Curran said. “We can’t make any other comments at this time. These are difficult cases for everybody, and there are no winners.”
And the AP is confirming the news.
Update #2: From the Boston Globe’s Patricia Wen and John R. Ellement:
Today, Nicastro and defense attorney, Hugh R. Curran, appeared in Brighton Municipal Court where Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office filed a statement notifying the court that prosecutors have ended the case against Nicastro.
“The Commonwealth states that it has met with the complainant in this case, and she maintains that her initial allegations against the defendant are true,’’ Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Gloirann Moroney wrote in the court papers. “Based on a thorough review of all of the evidence in the case, however, the Commonwealth has concluded that the evidence will not permit the Commonwealth to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. For that reason, the Commonwealth will not pursue the case further,’’ Moroney wrote.
In a telephone interview today, Curran said that when Nicastro was arraigned in February, he told reporters that no crime was committed, and that he was confident once a more comprehensive investigation was conducted, that law enforcement would reach the same conclusion - and Nicastro would be exonerated. Today’s action by Suffolk prosecutors, he said, vindicates that point of view.
Prosecutors “conducted an extensive and intensive investigation over the past four months,’’ he said. “They’ve interviewed numerous witnesses, including the complaining witness, and have reviewed all the evidence in the case. They have reached the conclusion that they determined to nol pros the case, terminated the prosecution and declined to prosecute.’’
He added, “My client has always maintained his innocence from the beginning. “Our position is that there was no crime committed and our client is innocent.’’
After his arrest, Boston University said Nicastro was no longer a student at the school, but would not say whether he voluntarily withdrew or was forced out of the school. Curran said Nicastro has kept in shape since both his academic and athletic career was interrupted by the arrest, but his priority is to complete his education.
“The most important aspect of his life going forward is obtaining his college degree,’’ Curran said. “Like any athlete he has been staying in shape. But hockey is secondary, and has been secondary, to what has been taking place in his life. His education has always been the primary focus.’’
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