Florida Gators redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey has agreed to deferred prosecution for a misdemeanor stalking charge after originally being charged with a third-degree felony for aggravated stalking, according to Florida Today.
Rainey must adhere to the following terms: six moths probation, no hostile contact with the woman, counseling, performing 10 hours of community service, paying a $50 fine and donating $100 to a domestic abuse center. As long as he fulfills the requirements and obligations presented to him by the court, he will be granted amnesty and the charges will be dismissed in six months’ time as he is a first-time offender.
Indefinitely suspended by the Gators, Rainey may have a renewed hope of returning to the team. A misdemeanor charge and admission by the state of Florida that he may have been overcharged in the first place could help him get back on the field. Nevertheless, head coach Urban Meyer has already ruled him out for Saturday’s game against the No. 1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide.
State attorney Bill Cervone explained the decision and plea agreement:
“Although I believe that probable cause existed for a felony charge because the facts involve an at least arguable threat, which is within the legal definition of felony stalking, the Defendant was never in a position to have acted on that threat and there is little if anything in his actions that night or in his background to suggest that he would have done so.
“Misdemeanor stalking is legally the more appropriate charge when no imminent danger was perceived or can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and the harassing contact, not done in person, occurred in a short, compressed time period. The Victim has in fact essentially stated that she was more annoyed than threatened, and that she did not want an arrest or prosecution, only the resolution of an immediate problem.” […]
“As a result, the case is being re-cast as a misdemeanor stalking offense, which as a matter of law more closely reflects the facts involved. Since the Defendant has no prior criminal history other than an unrelated drivers license charge that was resolved with no conviction, he will be treated as any first offender would in similar circumstances and offered a deferral agreement. The terms of that agreement have been crafted to address the concerns of my office and, if complied with, will allow the Defendant and everyone else involved to move on.”