Gophers men’s basketball player Reggie Lynch remained jailed Monday on suspicion of rape, and the Hennepin County attorney’s office is expected to use all of its allowed time — until noon Tuesday — to make a decision on charges.
Lynch, an Edina native and Gophers center who had to sit out last season after transferring from Illinois State, was arrested Sunday by university police. He has not been charged but is being held without bail in Hennepin County jail on probable cause for criminal sexual conduct.
Hennepin County attorney spokesman Chuck Laszewski said the office has 36 hours to file charges against Lynch, 21. “We will probably go pretty close to the deadline,” Laszewski said.
According to the police report, Lynch was arrested at 2:30 a.m. Sunday for an alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman three hours earlier. Lynch was booked at 1:24 p.m. Sunday.
Police interviewed four people, none of whom was a suspect or witness, during the process. The alleged victim received medical treatment following the incident, which occurred at a residence hall, Wilkins Hall, at 1212 University Av. SE, according to the report.
University President Eric Kaler, interim athletic director Beth Goetz and men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino were not made available for comment Monday. The university released a statement Sunday saying Lynch had been suspended from the team indefinitely.
Dean Johnson, chairman of the Board of Regents, said he was fielding opinions as soon as his Monday began at a Willmar coffee shop.
“The people of Minnesota are expecting more from our men’s basketball program both in wins and losses and in character of the student-athletes,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how Mr. Pitino is going to handle this going forward in recruiting and education matters of his players and expectations, but I would certainly hope that he is taking seriously what is occurring for the present and the future.”
Lynch transferred to the Gophers a year ago and was ineligible to play in 2015-16 because of NCAA transfer rules. Pitino has said the 6-9 Lynch, who helped Edina finish third in the Class 4A boys’ basketball state tournament in 2013, will be a key player this fall as a junior.
The Star Tribune found no prior arrest records for Lynch in Minnesota or Illinois.
The arrest is the latest troubling news for Pitino’s program.
Last August, former player Daquein McNeil pleaded guilty to third-degree assault charges after he was accused of beating and strangling his girlfriend. A charge of domestic assault by strangulation was dismissed.
In February, three players were suspended after sex videos appeared on the social media sites of Kevin Dorsey, then a freshman. The involvement of the other two players — Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer — is not clear. The team later announced Dorsey would transfer. No charges came out of that incident.
“Let me put it this way,” Johnson said. “It’s time for the University of Minnesota department of athletics to get off the front page, unless it’s about winning a championship.”