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Minnesota's Reggie Lynch won't be charged in sexual assault case

Charges won't be filed after the Hennepin County Attorney's Office couldn't find sufficient evidence

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Sexual assault charges won't be filed against Minnesota's Reggie Lynch, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said on Monday following a two-month investigation.

"We found insufficient evidence to prove that a crime was committed," said Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the District Attorney.

The junior forward was arrested on May 8 under suspicions of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in a campus apartment.

Lynch, 21, was released from jail on May 10, but the allegations were under investigation until Monday. The Edina, Minnesota native was suspended from the basketball team while the investigation was ongoing. Lynch's attorney, David Valentini told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Lynch didn't practice on Monday, and hasn't been allowed to participate in workouts yet.

"I was hopeful that his coach would invite him on the floor today for his first practice," Valentini said Monday. "I think that they wanted to run it by [athletic director Mark Coyle] first."

While they wait to see if Lynch can return to practice, the Lynch family is relieved to hear their son won't be charged.

"They're elated," Valentini said. "They're not surprised, but they are elated. They were surprised he was attached with this in the first place."

From the beginning, Valentini and the family were confident this would be the result.

"From Day 1 when he presented the facts to me, I was reasonably confident that after an investigation we hoped that he wasn't charged," Valentini told the Tribune. "I don't know if it really clears your name. Reggie Lynch was accused of 'X' crime; does this get that out of people's mind? I don't know. But he certainly deserves to be exonerated."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's recounting of the police report showed that Lynch was arrested at 2:30 a.m. on May 8 for an alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman three hours earlier at Wilkins Hall (1212 University Ave. SE). The alleged victim received medical treatment after the incident.

Lynch was just part of the problem within the Minnesota basketball program this spring. Five players have been suspended or kicked off the team in 2016, starting with coach Richard Pitino kicking captain Carlos Morris off the team in mid-February for conduct detrimental to the team.

Weeks later, the team suspended Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer for the final four games of the season after they posted a sexually graphic video on social media. The players were eventually reinstated, although Dorsey eventually transferred. Pitino and the Gophers are hoping to turn the discussion around, on and off the court, in 2016,

If reinstated, the 6'9", 260-pound Lynch can help Minnesota on the court. He hasn't played a game for the Gophers, sitting out last season after transferring from Illinois State. Lynch was a second-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection at Illinois State in 2014-15, averaging 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game on 50.9 percent shooting.