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SJU basketballer avoids jail in assault charge

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A St. John's University basketball player who allegedly attacked his classmate physically has been ordered to perform community service and receive anger management counseling, the Queens district attorney announced last week.

According to the DA's criminal complaint, Grady Reynolds, 22, originally from Abbeville, Ala. grabbed Rachel Seager, 20, a swimmer on the St. John's Red Storm team, at around 2 a.m. on Nov. 17 while the two were inside Hollis Hall, a St. John's dormitory.

Reynolds then lifted Seager off the floor, pushed her into a wall twice, causing her head to hit the wall, and then threw her to the floor, injuring her leg and knee, the complaint said.

Reynolds was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and faced up to one year in prison if found guilty.

Last week Queens Criminal Court Judge Pauline Mullings adjourned the case and said the charges would be expunged from Reynolds' record on the condition that he abided by court orders and was not arrested again within six months, said DA Richard Brown.

"The defendant, a first offender, has been held accountable for his conduct and has accepted responsibility for his violent behavior. The court has imposed an appropriate sanction," said Brown.

Mullings ordered Reynolds to attend a five-week anger management program and to perform five days of community service for the city Parks Department, during which he must work at least seven hours each day.

Seager and her family were consulted about the court order and were satisfied with it, Brown said.

"The university is pleased the case was resolved to the DA's satisfaction and we will look forward to both Seager and Reynolds being able to refocus their energies on their academic and athletic careers," said St. John's spokesman Jody Fisher.

Both Reynolds and Seager lived in Hollis Hall up until the time of the incident, said Fisher. After the incident, the two students were ordered by the university to stay away from each other and to not interact with each other's friends.

Reynolds now lives off-campus, while Seager will return to the residence hall in the fall, said Fisher.

He is still on the school's basketball team and is looking forward to a good year, Fisher added.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:23 pm, October 10, 2011
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