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Ex-KU basketball forward Silvio De Sousa faces aggravated battery charge

Staff and wire reports
Former Kansas basketball forward Silvio De Sousa faces a charge for aggravated battery for an alleged incident that took place early on New Year's Day.

LAWRENCE — Silvio De Sousa’s abrupt departure from the Kansas men’s basketball program has gained new context.

De Sousa, who on Oct. 16 announced his decision to opt out of the upcoming season to address “personal issues,” is facing a charge for aggravated battery — a Level 5 felony — for an incident that allegedly took place early on New Year’s Day, according to Douglas County District Court documents.

De Sousa “unlawfully, feloniously and recklessly (caused) great bodily harm or disfigurement to another person” during the confrontation that took place in the early morning hours near the 1100 block of Massachusetts Street, details outlined in charging documents filed Monday. The former Jayhawk forward has been issued a summons and is scheduled for a first court appearance on Dec. 17.

In a statement to The Topeka Capital-Journal, KU head coach Bill Self said De Sousa, 22, only recently learned of the allegations regarding his involvement in the nearly year-old incident.

“Earlier this fall, Silvio told me that he had been contacted by local authorities regarding his alleged involvement in an incident on New Year’s Eve,” Self said. “He was not aware of the details from that incident until a couple weeks ago, which he then shared with me. These allegations were surprising to Silvio, as they were to us. Once we discussed the details, he decided it was in his best interest to opt out and focus on this matter. We mutually agreed that was the best course of action.”

De Sousa two weeks ago cited personal challenges in his decision to leave the team.

“I have a lot of things weighing on my mind and need to address these by taking time for myself and stepping away from basketball,” wrote De Sousa, who averaged 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds last season. “I do not know what my next plan will be right now, but I will decide that when the time is right. This was not an easy decision to leave the basketball program, but it’s the best thing for me to do right now.”