MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus was in court Thursday morning on two felony counts of sexual assault.
Cephus, 20, was suspended from the team Monday after criminal charges of third-degree sexual assault and second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim were formally filed.
Cephus appeared in court with his attorney Thursday. His signature bond was set at $5,000, and he was ordered not to have contact with the alleged victims. He was also ordered not to share the names or photos of the victims, nor encourage others to do so.
A woman told detectives in April that Cephus assaulted her and another woman while they were drunk, according to court documents. Cephus said he’s being wrongfully accused and that the encounters were consensual.
If he’s convicted on both charges, he could face up to 50 years in prison.
Cephus’ teammate and roommate, wide receiver Danny Davis, was suspended for the first two games of the season.
According to a criminal complaint, Davis was there the night of the alleged assaults, laughing at the women and taking pictures.
Badgers head coach Paul Chryst said the suspension could be increased if more information connects Davis to the charges Cephus faces.
Cephus's lawyer's filed a motion asking the courts to preserve evidence that the defense believes is essential to the case and could prove Cephus's innocence. The court granted that motion.
Cephus's defense filed a second motion that is still being reviewed. They've asked the courts to dismiss the second charge because they have evidence showing that the defendant was not intoxicated beyond consent. The defense said there is a text conversation between Cephus and the alleged victim of that charge which occurred after the alleged assault. In the text the victim asks Cephus if she left her 'juul,' a vaping device behind. The message is followed by a heart and kiss emoji. The defense says it signifies positive feelings toward Cephus.
A preliminary hearing on the Cephus charges is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 6.