Attorney: Reggie Lynch 'categorically denies' all sexual assault allegations

The attorney representing Minnesota Gophers basketball player Reggie Lynch says he "categorically denies" all sexual assault allegations that have been made against him, saying the senior is eager to clear his name as many may have rushed to judgment amid a national reckoning over sexual misconduct.

According to reports, the University of Minnesota's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found Lynch responsible for sexual misconduct Tuesday for an alleged assault during April 2016 and subsequently recommended him for expulsion.

Lynch was suspended from the Gophers basketball team last week for sexual misconduct following a school investigation into an unrelated incident alleged to have occurred three weeks after the most recent accusation. 

During a press conference Wednesday at which the basketball star was conspicuously absent, Attorney Ryan Pacyga confirmed Lynch has filed requests for an appeals hearing for both his suspension and expulsion.

Pacyga said Lynch fully cooperated with the university's investigation without the presence of a lawyer--even though he had the right not to. 

"He wanted his side of the story out," Pacyga said. "Despite that, the university, in collecting their information, has arrived at the preliminary determination that they have done." 

Pacyga added that he is concerned the current climate of the #MeToo movement will make it hard for Lynch to get a fair hearing, even comparing the moment to that of Japanese internment camps during World War II.

"There might be a little bit of a hysteria going on in our rush and our desire to correct prior wrongs and our increased awareness of sexual assault," Pacyga said. "My question is, if you'll just stop for a minute, anybody, and put yourself in the shoes of the accused: how do you get a fair hearing? That's the real question." 

Sections of the university's findings were leaked to various media outlets Tuesday, a development Pacyga decried as violating his client's privacy. Despite this, he read a portion of the documents and outlined in detail the events that transpired that April, angering advocates and at least one victim who came forward Wednesday to share her displeasure with Pacyga's statements.

Sharing her statement with advocate Abby Honold, Alex--who chose to only be identified by her first name--said actions like Pacyga's are the reason she was initially afraid to come forward.

"I'm appalled and traumatized by how casually Ryan Pacyga discussed the details of one of the worst nights of my life, with no respect for me as a victim--or any regard for how this would impact me," she wrote. "I will continue to tell the truth about what happened to me."

Lynch, meanwhile, has not decided on whether he will continue challenging the school's findings--or even whether he will still attend school at the University of Minnesota or play basketball with the team.

"Any option is on the table right now," Pacyga said. "It's unclear to me whether or not he can continue moving forward."