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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Three weeks after his arrest on a sexual assault charge and subsequent dismissal from Florida, former track and field athlete Dumisane Hlaselo has employed an attorney familiar to most Gators football players embroiled in legal troubles.

Huntley Johnson Jr., of the law firm Johnson and Osteryoung, P.A., said he became Hlaselo’s attorney two weeks ago after being contacted by people who knew the South African native and wanted Johnson’s help.

“My firm was retained to help Dumi [Hlaselo],” Johnson said. “Once I met him, we really wanted to help him.”

Over the last three years alone, the Gainesville-area defense attorney has handled high-profile legal matters for several past and present Gators athletes.

Former clients include UF football players Carl Johnson, Janoris Jenkins and Cam Newton, as well as current redshirt senior Chris Rainey.

Johnson is also currently representing former Florida baseball player Bryson Smith and former basketball player Dan Werner for their alcohol-

related incidents.

When asked if anyone affiliated with the team inquired of his services for the Hlaselo case, the attorney said “the University of Florida had nothing to do with it.”

Hlaselo was arrested on June 28 after he admitted to raping a woman in his house just hours following the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.

The same day, the UF athletic association issued a statement saying he was no longer part of the team.

According to a Gainesville Police Department report, the incident occurred in the early morning hours of June 12 when the 22-year-old Hlaselo entered his roommate’s bedroom and had sex with a semi-conscious woman without her permission.

 “The charge is very severe,” Johnson said. “I take based on what I know from my investigation that this case is…I just have one word for it. This case is a tragedy.”

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Preceding his arrest, the 5-foot-7, 125-pound runner was finishing off a stellar first season with the Gators.

Hlaselo captured the 3,000-meter title at the 2011 SEC Indoor Championships and also set a UF record with the first sub-four minute mile in school history.

“I would say that his career at the University of Florida is over, and I’m only concerned about the criminal case at this point, so I don’t have any other observations as to that,” Johnson said.

With Hlaselo still booked in the Alachua County Jail under $100,000 bond, Johnson said he is waiting for the state attorney’s office to wrap up their investigation and file a formal charge in order for the case to go forward.

“The way it works is there’s an arrest and then the state attorney’s office makes a decision about what charges to file after they’ve conducted their investigation,” Johnson said. “So they can either charge more or less.”

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