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Florida's Chris Rainey Settles Legal Case, Won't Play for Gators vs. Alabama

1:54 PM, Sep 27, 2010   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida receiver Chris Rainey settled his legal issues on Monday over an arrest for allegedly stalking a former girlfriend two weeks ago but Gators coach Urban Meyer said "he is not a part of the team'' and will not play in Saturday's game at top-ranked Alabama.

Meyer also said that running back Jeff Demps has a sprained foot, which was first suffered at Tennessee and reinjured in last Saturday's 48-14 win against Ketucky. He is in a protective boot but Meyer thinks the Gators' top rusher, with 367 yards, will play against the Tide.

Rainey agreed to a deferral to a misdemeanor charge, rather than the original felony charges he could have faced. He must perform 10 hours of community service or make a $100 contribution to Peaceful Paths, pay a $50 fee to the state attorney's office for cost of prosecution and undergo evaluation and any required counseling for anger management-domestic violence.

"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,'' state attorney Bill Cervone said in a statement. "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.''

Cevone added the case was recast as a misdemeanor stalking offense because it "more closely reflects the facts involved.''The victim in the case also released a statement critical of media coverage, in part reading: "We felt this was a private, personal matter, and did not want it to become the media frenzy that is has become. The lack of sensitivity to our privacy has been disturbing, and we ask that our privacy be respected moving forward. We are in full support of the decision made by the state attorney.''

Rainey, a junior from Lakeland, was arrested on Sept. 14 for allegedly sending a former girlfriend a threatening text message which read in part, "Time to die.''
Rainey has been suspended from the team and did not play in the Tennessee or Kentucky games after being counted on to play a major role on the Gators' rebuilding offense this season. The alleged victim appeared at Rainey's first appearance and said she did not want him arrested or charged.

Rainey has caught six passes this season with one touchdown. He suffered a concussion against South Florida and missed the second half of the contest.

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