‘He violated team rules’ Calipari said of the redshirt sophomore, who is currently suspended from all team activities.
Matt Stone, Courier Journal
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky student who allegedly accompanied a UK basketball player to a party while armed with a gun was released on bond Monday.
Aaron Steele, 20, was arrested Sunday and charged for misdemeanor fourth-degree assault, dating violence with minor injury, for allegedly striking a woman and throwing her against a wall, according to a police report.
Steele’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Police observed “several bruises” on the victim’s arms and the victim complained of “pain over her whole body.”
Background: Alleged Kentucky basketball player’s bodyguard charged with assault
Steele and the victim, who was not named in the documents, were “in an intimate relationship for approximately six to seven months,” according to the report.
Steele remained a UK student after the school previously investigated whether he was armed at a party in January, an attorney representing Steele told Courier Journal last week. Steele was allegedly accompanying Kentucky basketball player Tai Wynyard, who has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. UK basketball spokesman Eric Lindsey declined to comment on whether his suspension is related to the allegations.
The Kentucky Interfraternity Council met with fraternity and sorority presidents after Steele allegedly attended the party while armed and was said to be “protecting” Wynyard, and sorority members used a group messaging app to warn each other and identify him.
More on this: UK investigated claim of armed student with basketball player at party
The Group Me message circulated by sorority members in January stated: “there is a guy named Aaron Steel (sic) showing up to parties with the basketball player Tai Wynyard. He showed up last night to our rush party and … had a gun … said he was ‘protecting’ Wynyard. … If you go out tonight and see him DO NOT APPROACH HIM. Share this to EVERY SISTER.”
Steele’s arrest and the alleged January incident appear to have no connection.
UK would not comment about Steele’s specific case when contacted Monday about potential disciplinary measures taken against students who are arrested for such crimes.
“In terms of the range of disciplinary measures, there is not one approach — or one set of measures — that apply,” UK spokesperson Jay Blanton said. “Each case is different. Each involves different circumstances and they are adjudicated with that in mind. The same is true for the path of a disciplinary proceeding. Some of it depends upon what the victim-survivor or accused does in terms of where they report and what path he or she wants to pursue.”
Related: Armed student ‘protecting’ UK basketball player, fraternities, sororities warn
Attorney Abe Mashni, who is representing Steele, said the university found no wrongdoing in its investigation into the January allegations.
“My client is not a bodyguard, for Tai Wynyard or anyone else,” Mashni told Courier Journal in an email. “He’s a student and a kid. It’s important to remember we are talking about eighteen and nineteen-year-old kids. This issue was investigated by the University of Kentucky and no violations of student conduct were found. No criminal charges were filed. This is a non-story. We ask that you respect his privacy while he continues to work toward a degree.”
Mashni indicated he would continue to represent Steele, who was released to his father, Roger Steele, with instructions not to make contact with the alleged victim.
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