Ex-Temple star Brunson pleads not guilty in assault

Posted: August 02, 2014

Former Temple men's basketball star Rick Brunson pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to charges of criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery, and domestic battery after his arrest in an encounter at a suburban Chicago fitness center.

The 42-year-old Brunson was the leading candidate to be Temple's next assistant men's basketball coach before his arrest in June. His son, Jalen Brunson, is the nation's No. 1 high school point guard, according to some recruiting websites, and one of Temple's top targets.

The Lake County (Ill.) judge granted Brunson permission to leave the state to attend his children's functions and to seek employment. He is not permitted to have contact with the alleged victim or anyone from Lifetime Fitness. A jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 27.

According to a 12-page police report, Brunson used Patrick Ewing's name to book an appointment April 2 with a female massage therapist who had told him she would no longer treat him. Brunson told police that he often used aliases during his playing career. He and Ewing were teammates with the New York Knicks for parts of two seasons.

The masseuse told police that Brunson was undressed when she entered the room, and she "reluctantly agreed to massage him since he was already there." The details of the alleged assault were redacted from the report. The woman said "she was in a daze after the incident and could not recall much of her time with Brunson after the abuse concluded."

Brunson's membership was revoked a week later. Police were first notified April 12.

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