University of Kansas

KU police have suspect in drug paraphernalia found at McCarthy Hall in rape investigation

McCarthy Hall on the campus of The University of Kansas.
McCarthy Hall on the campus of The University of Kansas. rsugg@kcstar.com

[ UPDATE: Lawrence municipal court on Jan. 30 confirmed KU basketball player Carlton Bragg was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia ]

University of Kansas police have issued a notice to appear in court to a suspect in a drug offense at McCarthy Hall, where the men’s basketball team and other male students live.

Drug paraphernalia — two glass smoking devices with residue — was seized during a KU police investigation into a reported rape in December at the hall. Police said in a news release Friday morning that “there is no indication that the drug paraphernalia is related to the sexual assault case.”

There was no suspect information listed on a police report obtained by The Star. When asked why not, KU Office of Public Safety chief Chris Keary said the suspect’s name was not on a releasable portion of the police report.

“During the investigation of the sexual assault, during a search, we found drug paraphernalia,” Keary said.

KU police said their drug paraphernalia report would be forwarded to the City of Lawrence Municipal Court. When asked by The Star on Friday morning, a person at the municipal court said they had no record of the report.

A KU police investigation remains open into the reported rape of a 16-year-old girl and two other crimes, contributing to a child’s misconduct and furnishing alcohol to a minor, which allegedly occurred between 10 p.m. Dec. 17 and 5 a.m. Dec. 18 at McCarthy.

Police have not released any information about a suspect in those three offenses, including whether the suspect is a resident at McCarthy or a KU student.

Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director for external relations, told The Star on Friday he could not confirm whether the drug paraphernalia suspect was a Kansas men’s basketball player.

KU coach Bill Self on Thursday night indefinitely suspended sophomore Carlton Bragg from competition for a violation of team rules that Self said was “not connected to the alleged incident in McCarthy Hall on Dec. 17th.”

Bragg was previously suspended by Self on Dec. 9 after he was charged with misdemeanor battery; he missed one game and was reinstated by Self after the Douglas County District Attorney’s office dismissed that battery charge on Dec. 14 after reviewing surveillance video. Prosecutors instead charged the woman who had accused Bragg, Saleeha Soofi, with battery. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday in her first court appearance.

In a separate case not involving Soofi, The Star learned on Friday that Bragg was accused in September of closing a door on a woman’s arm causing bruising, according to a KU Public Safety Office log entry. A police report obtained by The Star and the log show a battery was alleged around 3 a.m. Sept. 16 at McCarthy Hall.

Cheryl Wright-Kunard, assistant to the district attorney, said Bragg was the accused in that case, but he was never charged because there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. The case was forwarded from KU police to the prosecutor’s office on Sept. 20 and closed Sept. 29.

A KU student who was at McCarthy on that day in September told The Star that she and several witnesses spoke with police there.

“From my knowledge it was done and over,” she said. “(Bragg) was not in the wrong. … It was not an assault. Basically on his part, it was self-defense.”

When asked by The Star, Marchiony said the KU athletic department was aware of the September allegation. The release from Self did not specify what Bragg’s team-rules violation was.

The Star’s Laura Bauer and Gary Bedore contributed to this report

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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