Archive for Saturday, January 14, 1995

S GIRLFRIEND SAYS RECENT INCIDENT OVERBLOWN

January 14, 1995

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A Lawrence woman denies she was "battered'' by KU football player June Henley and says she wants no criminal charges filed.

The 19-year-old woman who allegedly was battered earlier this week by Kansas University football standout Charles L. "June" Henley might not get her way when it comes to how the case is prosecuted.

Tracie Simmons, Henley's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, said Friday she had no desire to have Henley prosecuted for what was reported to KU police early Thursday as a domestic battery. She also blamed outsiders for making the incident in the courtyard area at Jayhawker Towers into "more than it was.''

"If it would have been any other couple, it wouldn't have gone this far,'' she said. "Overall, he's a good person, a good father. ... Everyone was around making it seem like more than it was.''

Assistant Dist. Atty. Frank Diehl said Friday prosecutors would welcome comments from Simmons but said the decision on whether to file charges would be made by that office.

"It's not the victim's decision on whether charges are filed or not,'' Diehl said. "That's not to say we don't take the victim's wishes into consideration. The charging decisions still lie with this office.''

Simmons also disputed a KU police report that Henley, 19, 1603 W. 15th, had pushed her as the couple was driving back to his apartment and that she fell when he shoved her during the argument in the courtyard area.

She said both incidents were primarily verbal disputes. She said the only physical contact involved came when Henley pushed her hand.

"He pushed my hand away with enough force to push me back,'' Simmons said about the incident in the courtyard. "He pushed me away, I stumbled back.''

Simmons said the arguments she and Henley have are no different than those of other couples. She said their disagreements and actions are often times magnified because of Henley's status with the football team.

A tailback from Columbus, Ohio, Henley was named the Big Eight Conference's Offensive Newcomer of the Year and selected for All Big Eight Conference honors in 1993.

"Everyone always has something to say about me and June,'' she said.

Henley is free on a $500 personal recognizance bond. He is to appear back in court Jan. 26. The criminal complaint, if one is filed, must be filed by that date.

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