Maryland women’s basketball assistant coach Bryce McKey has been charged with sexual abuse against a player he coached while serving as an assistant with the Xavier women’s basketball team.
McKey, 29, will be arraigned Friday morning in Kenton County (Ky.) District Court on a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse in the third degree, which stems from a May 2 incident involving a Xavier women’s basketball player.
Maryland indefinitely suspended McKey on Thursday evening, according to a school spokesman.
The incident allegedly occurred 10 days after Maryland announced the hiring of McKey as an assistant coach and shortly before he relocated to College Park. He had served the four previous seasons in the same capacity at Xavier in Cincinnati.
According to a complaint filed in Kenton County on June 30, McKey invited the player to his home in the Cincinnati suburb of Covington, Ky., on May 2 and proceeded to touch her inappropriately on multiple occasions.
After she arrived at McKey’s home, the pair left the residence in a car to pick up food. She alleged McKey “inappropriately touched her leg, making her feel uncomfortable,” according to the complaint.
The accuser alleged that after returning to the residence, McKey offered her alcohol and later touched her on the buttocks twice without her permission. As she was leaving the residence, McKey asked for a hug, pulled her close to him “and she felt he was trying to kiss her at which time she pushed him away and left the residence,” according to the complaint.
The Xavier player also alleged in the complaint that, in the days following the incident, McKey offered through a mutual friend to pay her to not pursue charges.
Attempts to reach McKey on Thursday evening were not successful.
Joseph Feldhaus, general counsel for Xavier, said Thursday that the school is not investigating McKey for the alleged incidents.
“What I have been informed about the matter, is that the alleged incidents occurred after Bryce McKey left Xavier’s employment. So he’s not an employee of ours. No one has ever told us that any incident occurred while he was employed by us,” Feldhaus said.
The Xavier player and her parents authorized her Akron, Ohio-based attorney, Walter Madison, to contact The Washington Post in hopes of preventing a similar situation from occurring again, the player’s father said in a phone interview Thursday night.
“A lot of young ladies probably don’t come forward. I was proud of [my daughter] for coming forward,” the accuser’s father said. “Hopefully by reporting them, that it will help protect other girls that are going around coaches and feeling safe and secure, and realize it’s not safe and secure.”
The Post generally does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes.
Madison said in a phone interview Thursday that McKey invited another Xavier women’s basketball player to his home after the complainant left on the evening of May 2. According to Madison, the second woman also alleged sexual abuse by McKey, although no charges have been filed. Madison is also representing the second alleged victim and said her allegation is being investigated as a felony.
“It was completely an ambush,” Madison said. “They just couldn’t process this person that they trusted to be such a violator in the way that he was. And the timing of it just makes them really wonder how long in his mind, how long had he been violating these women anyway, while they are [at Xavier], working with him.”
After serving three seasons as a high school coach in Ohio, McKey was hired at Xavier before the 2011-2012 season. According to his biography on Maryland’s athletics Web site, part of his duties while at the school included overseeing recruiting operations, on-court preparations and scouting.
McKey started recruiting the alleged victim to play at Xavier when she was a late grade-schooler and throughout her high school career, according to Madison. He said McKey invited her to his home on May 2 “under the ruse” that he was saying goodbye after taking the job at Maryland. McKey had fostered a family atmosphere with players at Xavier, Madison said, often inviting them to his home for team-building exercises.
“He developed a close relationship with her and her parents, which is really the crux of all of the trail . . . and breaking of trust. They really treated him well and trusted him with their daughter,” Madison said.
Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.