University of Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus has been suspended from the football program and is scheduled to face criminal charges Thursday in the Dane County Courthouse following allegations of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in April.
The hearing comes after the Dane County County District Attorney filed a formal complaint Monday against Cephus. According to an electronic filing notice, Cephus has been charged with third-degree sexual assault and second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim.
A third-degree sexual assault charge is issued when someone is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a person without consent. If found guilty of this Class G felony, Cephus could face a fine of no more than $25,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, according to the Wisconsin Legislature criminal code.
The second-degree charge is issued when someone is alleged to have had intentional sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who he or she knows is under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders that person incapable of giving consent. This is classified as a Class C felony, carrying a maximum fine of $100,000 and no more than 40 years in prison.
According to a statement from the Madison Police Department, officers were sent to a local hospital April 22 to meet with a woman who said she was the victim of sexual assault. Detectives were assigned to the case, and the alleged victim said the assault took place inside Cephus’ apartment prior to her arrival at the hospital.
During the early stages of the investigation, police learned of a second woman — present in Cephus’ apartment the same night — who said she was also victim of a sexual assault.
Cephus, a UW-Madison junior, was cooperative and provided a statement to police, according to the MPD statement.
The UW-Madison Athletic Department suspended Cephus, who announced in a statement Saturday he was stepping away from the football team to “focus all of my attention on clearing my name,” from all competitions and practices pending further information relating to his case.
The 20-year-old football standout issued the statement via Twitter proclaiming his innocence.
“I have been wrongfully accused of unlawful conduct, and I am innocent of any allegations associated with this consensual relationship,” he wrote.
Cephus’ initial court appearance is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.