Sophomore forward Carlton Bragg was arrested early Friday morning. Friday afternoon, he was charged with one count of battery, a Class B misdemeanor, and pled not guilty. He was released on a $500 own-recognizance bond.
Bragg’s charges stemmed from a 911 call placed about 1 a.m. Friday.
Lawrence police responded, and the caller told officers that her boyfriend struck her and pushed her down stairs during an argument in the 1000 block of Emery Road. That area of Emery Road, near the KU campus, is home to several apartment buildings and fraternity and sorority houses.
Bragg was suspected of using alcohol and drugs, according to the front page of the Lawrence Police Department’s report. The report indicated that the victim’s injuries were not severe.
Courtesy of one of our readers (shoutout to Bensa), here is what this all means for Bragg.
Simple battery is a class-B misdemeanor (same level as Domestic Battery). There are, however, several key differences between the two charges, mostly having to do with the relationship with the alleged victim and the sentence regimen.
First, the relationship with the victim likely does not satisfy the definition of "family or household member" as outlined in K.S.A. 21-5414. This does NOT mean the victim was not a girlfriend, but if the girlfriend is not living with Bragg and does not have a child by Bragg, then it doesn’t meet the definition under the statute.
Simple battery (that is, non-Domestic Violence or aggravated battery) simply means the unwanted touching of a person in a rude, angry, or insulting manner, or knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person. This could be a punch, a shove, a grab, a kick, or even spitting on somebody.
The biggest difference, in my view, between simple battery and Domestic Violence battery is that the simple battery offense doesn’t carry some of the long-term consequences that a domestic battery conviction does. For instance, a person convicted of domestic battery is forever barred from owning a firearm (under a federal statute). A second domestic battery conviction is a class-A misdemeanor, and a 3rd conviction within 5 years is a felony, obviously with increasing penalties. Simple battery doesn’t really aggregate like that.
At the end of the day, because this is (to my knowledge) Bragg’s first offense, it’s highly likely he’ll apply, qualify for, and be granted a diversion on the charge. He’ll have a probation-like period during which he must obey the law, stay out of trouble, report to the District Attorney’s diversion coordinator, and possibly do some anger management, pay a fine, costs, etc. and maybe some community service. If he completes the diversion, the charge will be dismissed and it won’t go on his record.
Bragg’s attorney has confirmed that he has no criminal history.
Regardless, things don’t look great for Bragg. Bill Self has said that Bragg won’t play in any games while the University investigates. Bragg could also face further disciplinary action from the University as well.
From the Lawrence Journal World:
... according to KU’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, intimate partner violence violates the code, and students found responsible for it could be subject to discipline whether the violence occurred on campus or off. KU has jurisdiction to investigate and adjudicate such complaints if they involve two students and the alleged violence affects one’s on-campus safety, according to the code.
KU also considers dating or intimate partner violence a form of sexual harassment under Federal Title IX and related federal rules, according to the university’s sexual harassment and sexual violence procedure document. Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in education and requires universities to investigate and adjudicate reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence on their campuses.
In such cases, university investigators determine responsibility for violations based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning allegations are more likely than not to have occurred. Courts of law convict when a suspect is determined to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Again we’re left to speculate, but I would imagine that this could be anything from a suspension to expulsion.
Bragg will be in court again on December 27, where he is scheduled for a 1:30 PM hearing.
Considering Bragg was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs during the incident, I personally would be surprised - and probably a little disappointed - to see Bragg take the floor for Kansas again this year.
Bill Self is quoted as saying, “Carlton and I have spoken. He certainly understands the circumstances surrounding this issue. We are taking this charge very seriously; we’re going to hold him out from competition as we continue to gather facts.”
An interesting possible twist to this case, as reported by Jesse Newell at the KC Star, is that the victim in Bragg’s case was also arrested on Friday afternoon under the same case number as Bragg. After a review of the case by the District Attorney’s office on Saturday, no charges were filed against her and she was released.
We’ll obviously keep you updated as the story continues to develop.