Five weeks after being arrested and accused of rape but still not charged by prosecutors with a crime, Lehigh Acres native Emmitt Williams returned to the basketball court for Orlando Oak Ridge High School over the weekend after missing the start of the season.
Williams, an elite national prospect who was between recruiting trips to top schools when he was arrested Oct. 18 on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment, played Friday and Saturday after missing the team’s first two games.
In an email to the News-Press, Orange County School District spokeswoman Lorena Hitchcock cited the district’s student code of conduct in the approval for Williams to play for Oak Ridge. It is not clear why he missed the team’s first two games.
“Our OCPS student code of conduct states that ‘any student who has been formally charged with a felony or similar offense by a prosecuting attorney shall be excluded from participation in extracurricular/co-curricular activities and athletics for a minimum of one calendar year. If the student is not found guilty or if the charges are dismissed, the student may return upon presenting documentation of the court’s decision.’
“Currently the player in question has not been formally charged by the State Attorney’s Office who has 180 days to file. All OCPS students are presumed innocent under the student code of conduct until formal charges are filed at which time the student loses the privilege of participating in extracurricular activities.”
Williams pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $13,500 bond on Oct. 24.
Eryka Washington, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth District, said Monday, “a filing decision has not been made yet on this case.”