The trial of former Jamaican junior track and field representative Kevin Nedrick was on Wednesday put off for a second-straight time but on this occasion it was due to COVID-19 concerns, the Hennepin County Court in Minnesota, USA, was told. Nedrick is facing third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges after he was arrested in August with the trial originally set to start in September, but was pushed back after the prosecution lawyers were said to have asked for a delay as they were not in a position to commence with the trial.
The 21-year-old former Petersfield High standout had his US$1,000 cash bail extended once again and is due to face the judge on December 1, at which time the hearing will be held virtually.
Irwine Clare, CEO for the US-based not-for-profit organisation Team Jamaica Bickle, said by the next court date, Nedrick should have his own lawyers to represent him after he was represented on previous appearances by public defender Ati Khan who had also represented the athlete during his bail hearing earlier and was successful in getting his original bond down from US$75,000.
According to a report carried in the Star-Tribune newspaper in Minnesota last month, Nedrick, who was about to start his senior season at the University of Minnesota, was arrested and charged in August after allegations that he overpowered a woman and assaulted her.
The ISSA Champs and County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Champs Class One shot put record holder represented Jamaica in both the shot put and the discus at the World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2016. He was also the CARIFTA Games silver medallist that same year and won silver and bronze at the Pan Am Juniors in 2017 in Trujillo, Peru.
The article that was published in the Star-Tribune said Nedrick was charged with raping a woman in her campus apartment during a late-night gathering.
The article said in part that Nedrick “was arrested in the hall outside the apartment” and that “campus police were called about 1:15 am about a sexual assault in the apartment”.
“The woman told officers that she was there celebrating her roommate’s 21st birthday with friends the previous night. “She said she went to aid her roommate, who was throwing up in the bathroom. When the woman left the bathroom, Nedrick pushed her into her bedroom and onto her bed.
“Nedrick got on top of her as she said, ‘I don’t want to do this’,” the article went on.
She estimated Nedrick’s weight at 300 pounds and suspected he “had a lot to drink”.
A building security agent came into the apartment, and the woman told her what happened. Upon Nedrick’s arrest, physical evidence was collected from his mouth and hands.
“The woman underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital, where she provided a consistent account to the nurse,” the charging document read.
— Paul Reid
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