When one is accused of felony charges, it is important that their right to a fair trial is not impeded. A former assistant coach for the University of Arizona track and field team has been accused of assault and stalking of a player. However, a court recently approved the severance of the charges he faces. This essentially means that the prosecution cannot use evidence of the reported assault in the trial for the stalking charges.

The player at issue reported that in April 2015, the coach placed a box cutter against her throat and choked her. She then claims he stalked her and tried to physically remove her from a classroom filled with other people. Court documents state that phone records indicate that the man texted and emailed the player 57 times between April 26, 2015, and May 1, 2015, and that some of these texts and messages were threatening.

The coach maintains that he and the player were in a mutual sexual relationship that had been going on for years. However, the player maintains that in 2012, the coach took inappropriate photographs of her and then threatened to make the photographs public unless she agreed to have a sexual relationship with him.

When he was interviewed by university police, the coach waived his Fifth Amendment rights and said he assaulted the player and sent the threatening messages. In May 2015, the coach was charged with several felonies, including aggravated assault and stalking. The man’s lawyer moved to sever the assault charges from the stalking charges, claiming that the reported texts and emails were irrelevant to the reported assault. The court agreed, and the charges were severed.

This is an incredibly complicated case, and it is difficult to see what the future will hold. When a person is charged with multiple felonies, they face a long road ahead of them. To avoid the serious consequences that come with a conviction on a felony crime, those facing such charges should take the steps necessary to establish a solid argument in their favor.

Source: tucson.com, “Ex-UA track coach Craig Carter will face separate trials on assault, stalking charges,” Caitlin Schmidt, Feb. 20, 2018