University of Kansas

KU’s Carlton Bragg charged with possession of drug paraphernalia found during rape investigation

Carlton Bragg on Thursday night was indefinitely suspended from appearing in KU basketball games.
Carlton Bragg on Thursday night was indefinitely suspended from appearing in KU basketball games.

Kansas sophomore basketball player Carlton Bragg, who remains indefinitely suspended from competition, has been charged in City of Lawrence Municipal Court with possession of drug paraphernalia, The Star confirmed Monday through the court.

University of Kansas police on Friday issued a notice to appear in court to Bragg, 21, after two glass smoking devices with residue were seized during a KU police investigation into a reported rape in December at McCarthy Hall, where the men’s basketball team and other male students live. According to the court, Bragg’s first appearance in municipal court is at 10 a.m. Feb. 14.

KU police refused to release the name of the drug paraphernalia suspect and said in a news release Friday morning that “there is no indication that the drug paraphernalia is related to the sexual assault case.” Police said Friday they would forward their report about the drug offense to municipal court.

According to a Lawrence city ordinance, possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor that can be punished by a fine of $200 to $2,500 with a possible jail term of up to one year. The ordinance also says the court is allowed to suspend all or part of the minimum fine.

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 resides at McCarthy or attends KU.

On Monday, KU coach Bill Self said during his weekly news conference that former KU basketball player Evan Maxwell, a transfer from Liberty who was taking a redshirt year last fall, was not on campus during the time of the allegations at McCarthy. KU announced Dec. 31 that Maxwell had decided to leave the program.

“Evan wants to take some time off,” Self said. “It has absolutely nothing to do with anything concerning that alleged incident, and also he wasn’t even here when that occurred.”

A report of a runaway child in need of care also was made at McCarthy between 10 p.m. Dec. 17 and 4:23 a.m. Dec. 18. No information about the child was provided in a police report obtained by The Star, though Bragg and two 19-year-old women are listed as witnesses. The runaway was reportedly located and picked up. KU police have not said whether the runaway and the reported rape victim are the same person.

Self on Thursday night indefinitely suspended 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.” Though Self did not confirm the suspension was related to the drug paraphernalia charge, he seemed to hint that was the case.

“You guys can add two and two,” Self said. “So the whole deal, he’s been suspended for violation of team rules, and when we found out about it, then we acted on it immediately.”

Referring to the drug charge, Self acknowledged he was “very disappointed” that Bragg was involved with the situation.

Self said Monday that nothing has changed regarding Bragg’s suspension and that he will not play in the Jayhawks’ next game, which is at home Wednesday against Baylor.

The coach said, “Great question, and the answer is I have no idea,” when asked when Bragg might return to games for KU.

“What goes on behind the scenes to determine certain things will be something that is talked about amongst us,” Self said. “Right now I do not have a timetable at all.”

Self confirmed to The Star on Monday that Bragg is allowed to practice with the team.

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.

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell