Rice Pleads "Not Guilty"

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

December 8, 2005
Former Greenbrier football star Reggie Rice was in court on Thursday, pleading not guilty to sex and alcohol charges stemming from a party with underage girls. News 12 has details from the courthouse with why the case may soon be moved behind closed doors, out of the public eye.

Reggie Rice faces five charges, three are misdemeanors. Rape and aggravated child molestation are felonies.

“You’ve entered a plea of not guilty to these charges,” Judge Duncan Wheale said.

He will try to move the case to juvenile court so he will be tried alongside the 16-year-old boy who is also involved.

“I think it would be more appropriate for one judge to make all the decisions,” Judge Wheale said.

And the three underage girls charged with fornication fit into a statistic he cited, 46 percent of freshman girls are sexually active. Rice’s attorney argues this shouldn’t stop his client from going to school.

“This is a young man who had scholarship offers, who was a great athlete, who had the whole world going in the right direction and that’s been taken away from him,” Attorney Jacque Hawk said.

Over a hundred people gathered outside the courthouse for the bond hearing, but today, only a handful of supporters showed up.

Today his family filled a corner of the courtroom. Their hope is to loosen the terms of his bond that keep him at home.

“Those are the conditions imposed by the court and we would sort of generally oppose any drastic modification,” Prosecutor Hank Syms said.

The only modifications the judge will allow, he can visit his father and visit schools where he may get a football scholarship. The catch is an adult over the age of forty must be present.

The five charges against him will keep him home for now, and possibly in jail for years. Judge Wheale said he will not give Rice the maximum sentence for rape, life in prison, if he’s convicted.

There is another hearing next Friday to go over the information and possibly transfer the case.

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