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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sexual assault investigation into Keyontae Johnson halts

The State Attorney’s Office will not prosecute the former Florida basketball player

<p>Former Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson during Florida&#x27;s game against the Auburn Tigers Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. A woman reported Johnson sexually assaulted her Feb. 26. The State Attorney&#x27;s Office will not prosecute Johnson.  </p>

Former Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson during Florida's game against the Auburn Tigers Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. A woman reported Johnson sexually assaulted her Feb. 26. The State Attorney's Office will not prosecute Johnson.

The Alachua County State Attorney’s Office abandoned a sexual assault case against Keyontae Johnson Wednesday after a monthslong investigation into the former Florida basketball player.

The 23-year-old 2020 SEC Preseason Player of the Year was under investigation after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her while she was intoxicated at a Feb. 26 pool party at Johnson’s residence in Canopy Apartments, less than two miles away from UF’s campus. 

“This has been a really difficult situation for everybody involved,” Johnson wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I just hope that we all can move forward from here and find peace. My goal now is to choose a school where I can continue my education and basketball career.”

The recent graduate entered the transfer portal May 1 amid the investigation, which lasted more than three months. Johnson confirmed in a May 2 Instagram post he was medically cleared to compete after he sought additional opinions.

Johnson collapsed during a December 2020 game against Florida State University and made his first appearance on the court since with a ceremonial start on Florida’s Senior Day March 5. The alleged incident took place one week prior, a few hours after the Florida basketball team defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia. 

Johnson admitted he was aware of the accuser’s drunken state in a phone call monitored by police. The two previously had consensual intercourse dating back to August 2021, according to reports, but the accuser denied Johnson’s advances and made it clear she did not want to continue having sex. 

In the last year, the State Attorney’s Office investigated two men with ties to UF who faced separate sexual assault charges. Michael Nanosky Jr., a former philanthropy chairman for the Theta Chi fraternity, avoided jail time and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, a lesser felony, March 17. Oscar Vargas, a 20-year-old Santa Fe College student and past social events chair of the UF fencing club, was released from the Alachua County Jail on a $100,000 bond and pled not guilty ahead of his next court date July 18. 

Ron Kozlowksi, Johnson’s attorney, said he was confident the state attorney’s investigation would find more information than initial reports reflected.  

“We were confident from the beginning that once the state attorney had the opportunity to look hard at the facts and talk to a lot of witnesses that they would come to the same conclusion that we did,” he said, “that Keyontae didn't do anything wrong here.”

Ryan Haley contributed to this report.

Contact Karina Wilson at kwilson@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @kk_rinaa.

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Karina Wilson

Karina Wilson is a second-year student at the University of Florida within the College of Journalism and Communications with a specialization in sports and media. She aims to produce engaging, accurate and current content for all types of sports fans. Currently, Karina is The Alligator's lacrosse beat writer.


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