SIU football player arrested

By Caleb Motsinger

Baines charged with counts of kidnapping, sexual battery

Despite being indefinitely suspended from Saluki football, the investigation of Ronald Baines continues in order to determine whether he will return to SIU in the fall.

Baines, a 20-year-old freshman cornerback from Voorhees, N.J., was arrested March 16 in Panama City Beach, Fla., and charged with two counts each of kidnapping, attempted sexual battery and exposure of sexual organs.



Rod Sievers, university spokesman, said Baines is still enrolled in the university and that an investigation is ongoing to determine further action.

The SIU Athletic Department has since stated that Baines will be indefinitely suspended from the team.

Baines, who is studying sports administration, played in one game for the Salukis and is credited with one tackle. After his arrest, Baines did not appear on the Salukis’ spring 2012 roster, according to SIU Media Services.

On the night of  Baines’ arrest, the Bay County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement saying a female taxi driver claimed Baines fondled her and held her against her will in a convenience store restroom after she picked him up at a Panama City Beach hotel.

According to the statement, Baines followed the taxi driver after she fled the store, re-entering the cab while she tried to escape. The driver told police that Baines continued his lewd behavior until she was able to notify her boyfriend of the happenings via cell phone. Baines then fled the vehicle and was later picked up by police.

Further into the investigation, the Bay County Sheriff’s Department revealed complaints from a hotel staff member, which later resulted in the additional charges of kidnapping, attempted sexual battery and exposure of sexual organs.

Baines was released on bond March 16.