MADISON (WKOW) — In a brief arraignment hearing Thursday morning in Dane County Circuit Court, suspended Badger receiver Quintez Cephus pleaded not guilty in his sexual assault case.
His attorneys were granted 30 days to file additional motions.
Prosecutors say Cephus sexually assaulted two women at his campus apartment on Spring Street in the early morning of April 22.
Authorities say Cephus had recently become acquainted with the women, who had been drinking at a downtown bar prior to going with Cephus and fellow Badger football player Danny Davis to Cephus’ apartment.
Prosecutors say both women were intoxicated, with one victim objecting to Cephus’ sex acts, and the other unaware of the sexual contact. Court records state Davis photographed one of the nude victims.
Cephus has been suspended from the football team indefinitely, while Davis served a two-game suspension. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Davis would face no charges.
Cephus also filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and other university officials, maintaining his rights were violated by the completion of a university disciplinary review of his actions without his input. Cephus says any information he would provide the university could potentially be used to incriminate him in his Dane County court case, and has asked a judge to halt the university probe.
Cephus’ advocate, Bishop Tavis Grant issued a statement claiming African American student athletes are disproportionately accused of misconduct. Cephus’ lawsuit also states one the student-accuser’s fathers is a university alum and donor, who made a racial comment about Cephus and pressured university investigators to fast track the disciplinary review.
But Grant Thursday maintained Cephus’s situation is not about race.
“This is about right and wrong, this is about fact and fiction,” Grant says.
“The fact of the matter is Quintez is innocent.”
A UW-Madison spokesperson says the disciplinary investigation into Cephus has complied with federal law and rules, and says parallel investigations involving alleged student misconduct and crimes are not unusual.
A hearing date has yet to be set in Cephus’ federal lawsuit.