University of Rhode Island Campus Police arrested a member of the University’s men’s basketball team this morning, March 27 on two counts of video voyeurism.
Freshman Jonathan Holton, 20, of Miami, Fla. was arrested at his campus address following complaints from two students that he took video of two separate sexual encounters with them without their consent, and then the videos were posted on Facebook. Police said the incidents occurred on campus.
Holton was arraigned this morning on the two felony counts in District Court, Wakefield. He was released on personal recognizance upon signing a waiver of extradition since he is from Florida. He has been ordered to have no contact with the two victims. A felony screening with the Department of Attorney General has been scheduled April 27.
The female students first reported the incidents March 17 to Division of Student Affairs personnel and then March 20 to campus police. The women told police the sexual encounters, which occurred in the fall, were consensual.
Campus Police were assisted this morning by personnel from the R.I. State Police Computer Crimes Unit in searching Holton’s residence hall unit. Holton was arrested at that location without incident.
Holton has been suspended from the URI men’s basketball program and all related activities as a result of his arrest. Since this is an ongoing police investigation, the Campus Police and Department of Athletics will have no further comment.
Thomas R. Dougan, URI vice president for Student Affairs, made a brief statement.
“These are disturbing allegations that strike at the core of our commitment to make this a safe and civil campus community. Respect for the rights and privacy of all of our community members is paramount,” Dougan said. “Campus police and Student Affairs are involved in separate intensive investigations surrounding these allegations.”
The two women are receiving support from the URI Women’s Center and other Student Affairs staff.
Dougan said the incidents have also been referred to the student judicial process, which could result in sanctions ranging from a written reprimand to suspension from the University.
Police said the alleged victims went to the police station after friends told them that some videos of them had been posted to Facebook and that they were forwarded to about 30 people.
Four videos have been turned over to campus police. If convicted on the criminal charges, Holton could face up to three years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine, police said.