Posted by Tom Fornelli
Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey is not going to face felony charges following his arrest for aggravated stalking after sending threatening text messages to a former girlfriend two weeks ago. A settlement has been reached that will have the charges against Rainey reduced to a misdemeanor.
Gainesville state's attorney Bill Cervone said that the reason they decided to reduce the charges and not pursue the felony is that while he feels they have enough to warrant the felony charges, the fact that Rainey was never in a position to act on them, and has no history to suggest he would act on them, made the misdemeanor stalking charges more "appropriate."
As for what Rainey now faces, Cervone continued.
"I am not going to consider any request that the case be dropped in its entirety," said Cervone. "Because I am concerned when young people act in this way and believe that we should intervene at least to the point of forcing a cooling off period and some professional counseling on anger management and related coping skills.
"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."
As for what this means for Rainey's future with the Gators, nobody is quite sure. Urban Meyer keeps saying that Rainey is "not a part of the team" but then keeps answering questions about whether or not he'll be available to play this week -- and Meyer says Rainey won't be playing against Alabama. It'd be nice if Meyer and the school could just come out and say what Rainey's status is.
Has he been booted from the team, as the AP report suggests , or has he just been suspended?