The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/21/12 at 04:01 PM ET
A Boston University hockey player has pleaded not guilty to raping a female student and has been ordered to have no contact with the woman. Max Nicastro, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was also ordered held on $10,000 bail after his arraignment Tuesday in Brighton District Court.
Authorities say the junior defenseman and 2008 Detroit Red Wings draft pick sexually assaulted another student Sunday morning. His lawyer says no crime was committed.
ESPN Boston’s Jack McCluskey confirms…
Boston University men’s hockey player Max Nicastro was arraigned on two counts of rape Tuesday in Brighton District Court. Prosecutors allege Nicastro raped a female BU student in an on-campus dormitory in the early-morning hours Sunday. Assistant district attorney Gloriann Moroney said the victim contacted police, who interviewed her and other individuals and then called an ambulance to take the victim to the hospital, where she was treated and later released.
Police then arrested Nicastro at his on-campus residence, at 10 Buick St., early Sunday morning. Judge Franco Gobourne ordered Nicastro held on $10,000 cash bail and issued a no-contact order. The judge impounded documents detailing the case, citing privacy concerns.
A plea of not guilty was automatically entered on Nicastro’s behalf.
Nicastro, a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., is due back in court on March 26 for a probable cause hearing. Defense attorney Hugh Curran said that Nicastro plans to stay at Boston University to complete his degree in business administration, including taking classes this summer in order to graduate on time.
The 21-year-old Nicastro, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior defenseman, had nine points (three goals and six assists) in 26 games for the Terriers in 2011-12. He has been suspended from the team pending the result of the investigation.
In December, Terriers leading scorer Corey Trivino was dismissed by the team after he was charged with sexual assault.
As does the Boston Herald’s Matt Stout...
Police said they were called to the BU campus early Sunday to find an “upset and tearful” woman saying she had been raped on campus by Nicastro, said Moroney. The prosecutor said the alleged victim was sent to the hospital and has since been released.
Nicastro’s lawyer, Hugh Curran, said his client is a business administration major who has “every intention” of returning to BU and plans to remain on campus and take courses this summer. Nicastro is from Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Curran said there was not a “criminal act” Sunday night. A woman believed to be Nicastro’s mother was also in the courtroom. She was escorted out of the courthouse by an unidentified man who told reporters she would have no comment.
During the arraignment, Nicastro was handcuffed and attempted to cover his face with a legal pad.
Judge Franco Gobourne impounded the police report at the request of the prosecutor and later impounded a motion by Curran to preserve evidence, including what he said was dorm surveillance video.
Nicastro is due back in court March 26. The Terriers defenseman suspended from the hockey team pending the university’s own investigation and could face further disciplinary action by the school.
And the Boston Globe’s Brian R. Ballou...
Hugh Curran, Nicastro’s defense attorney, said during the arraignment, “we believe that when all the facts are out there, this will be found to not be a criminal act.”
Nicastro was dressed in a grey suit and held a legal pad in front of his face to conceal himself from cameras while standing in the prisoner’s dock in the courtroom. Gobourne set bail at $10,000 cash; Nicastro has been in custody since his arrest and remained in custody this afternoon.
Nicastro’s mother, whose name was not immediately available, was in the courtroom having flown in from California where the hockey player’s family lives. She left the courtroom without commenting.
Nicastro was ordered to stay away from the victim should he make bail.
It was unclear whether Nicastro and the alleged victim lived in the same dorm building on the BU campus, but Gloriann Moroney, the assistant district attorney handling the case, told the judge that the university has relocated the defendant to a different on-campus location.
“As far as them being in the same building, I don’t think that’s an issue,” she said.
And the Boston herald’s Richard Weir and John Connolly rather strongly suggest that the Trivino and Nicastro arrests suggest that the BU hockey team clearly has some…Issues in the team culture department, but BU coach Jack Parker had this to say to the Boston GLobe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell:
“I hope it’s a horrible coincidence,’’ said Parker. “I don’t want this to be the culture of our team and if it is, we’ll change it. We’ve had problems in the past but we’ve dealt with them and gotten rid of kids we didn’t want in our program, whether it be drinking, school or a whole bunch of things but we’ve had a few instances and dealt with kids and removed them from our program because they weren’t living up to our standards and that’s how we will look at Max. Is this the culture of the BU hockey team? Is this the culture of BU athletics? If it is, the buck stops here. But I don’t believe it is.’’
Parker said the standards at BU are high and for student-athletes, they’re even higher.
“Not just BU hockey but BU athletics in general, all the coaches hold these kids to a higher standard [in terms of] how they conduct themselves academically, and on the playing fields and in society,’’ said Parker. “We want to make sure we hold them to that standard and if anybody falls below it, we deal with it. I don’t think anybody has ever thought that Boston University in general, or the BU hockey team in particular, covered anything up or tried to quiet things down and keep it in house just so a kid can play another game. That’s not our M.O. That’s never been my M.O. and we deal with individual cases as they come. There are going to be bad instances, no question, and when they happen, we deal with them and I think we’ve dealt with them appropriately over the years and we’ll deal with this one appropriately but there’s nothing to be dealt with right now other than the suspension until we see what happens.’’
Parker said that unlike Trivino, who had issues with alcohol, Nicastro had not been in trouble.
He said BU tries to give student-athletes resources to make good decisions and to understand proper conduct and the consequences of improper conduct and how to avoid getting into dangerous situations.
“I think the university and the athletic department in particular has done a great job in trying to make sure [the players] on both the men’s and women’s teams know what’s expected and how to conduct themselves,’’ Parker said.
“I feel bad for everybody involved. Nobody’s going to come out of this a winner,’’ he said. “This is a bad situation and it remains to be seen how bad but we’ll deal with it.’’
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