Senior guard under police investigation

By Gus Bode

SIU men’s basketball senior guard Justin Bocot is under police investigation in connection with a sexual assault that was reported Saturday.

According to a Carbondale Police report, the victim told officers she was sexually assaulted by Bocot between 2:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.

Bocot, the team’s third-leading scorer, sat at the end of the bench and did not play in Wednesday’s loss against Western Kentucky.

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Head coach Chris Lowery said at the post-game press conference that he would not discuss the incident any further than what was in a press release early Wednesday.

Lowery said in a press release on the athletics website the investigation is in the early stages and is being closely monitored.

“It is important to emphasize that he has not been charged with wrong-doing,” he said in the release on the website. “When the facts are known, we will act accordingly.”

Bocot’s attorney Wesley Wilkins said he is confident the result of the investigation will clear him of charges, The Southern Illinoisan reported.

Lowery said he did not want to make excuses for the loss, but Bocot could have done well in the game.

“Obviously this is the type of game for Bocot to excel at,” he said. “It is an up and down, run or jump game and … he wasn’t available.”

Bocot, who has started in all four games this season, will practice with the team, Lowery said in a release on the website.

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“As a young man, if you get accused of anything you are obviously upset,” he said. “He has still been good for our guys.”

Senior forward Mamadou Seck said he didn’t feel any extra pressure in the game because Bocot didn’t play, but having a thin bench was difficult for the team.

“If we had everyone back, that would help the team,” he said.

Bocot was also reported to have been the victim of criminal property damage Saturday. Carbondale Police report both incidents are related and Bocot and the victim are acquaintances.

Police chief Jody O’Guinn did not return numerous calls from the Daily Egyptian and was not available when a reporter went to the police station.

A spokeswoman for Carbondale Police would not confirm details of the investigation.

 

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