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Gators' Rainey arrested on felony stalking charge

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Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:20 am

Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey, 22, was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with aggravated stalking after sending a text message to a woman he had been dating on and off for the past three years that said, ‘Time to die bitch.’

A representative from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said Rainey, who made his first court appearance via closed circuit television, has been released from custody. Judge Denise R. Ferrero ordered him to have no contact with the woman and to be home from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. while the case is pending, unless he is working or at a school function.

The next court date has not been determined.

The alleged victim asked the judge to drop the charges, but the state attorney’s office will still investigate the matter. Rainey was represented by a public defender in his first appearance.

“[The woman] has basically explained that the whole situation was blown out of proportion and she did not want him arrested in the first place,” Chief Investigator for the State Attorney Spencer Mann said. “So her wishes are to not press charges.”

Going forward, the firm Johnson and Osteryoung will represent Rainey. Huntley Johnson, an attorney who has represented several UF athletes, is hopeful that his client can overcome the incident.

“For him to be charged with a felony is probably a little overblown,” Johnson said. “I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be worked out in such a fashion the he and the young lady in question can get on with their lives and have this be just a small bump in the road.”

Rainey has either been “removed from the team or suspended indefinitely” by the Gators, Johnson added.

According to the police report, the incident began when Rainey texted “you don’t care about me” to the alleged victim at 10:30 p.m. on Monday after she did not answer his phone call. She responded by telling him to go to bed and leave her alone.

Instead, Rainey showed up at the woman’s house and continued to call and text her until she threatened to notify the authorities.

At 11:47 p.m., the victim went outside and noticed Rainey was gone, according to the report. Thirty-five minutes later, he sent the offending text message.

Following the threatening message, she called the police.

When she told Rainey that law enforcement officers wanted to talk to him, he replied, “wait and see what happens when they leave,” the report states.

Rainey denied making the comments on the phone, but he did admit to sending the “Time to Die Bitch” text message.

A call to a UF spokesman seeking further comment was not returned.

Rainey, who has caught six balls for 34 yards this season, suffered a concussion against South Florida on Saturday but was expected to play against Tennessee this week. His status for the Gators’ upcoming game is still unknown.

“Mr. Rainey is a tough young man,” Johnson said. “He’ll be fine.”

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