Report: Brown Official Knew of Player's Criminal Charges
CHN Staff Report
A report in today's Brown Daily Herald suggests that Brown officials knew that freshman hockey player Harrison Zolnierczyk was facing child pornography charges before a report published in the Providence Journal.
That report, from Feb. 21, pointing out the two-year old matter, led to the suspension of Zolnierczyk for the remainder of the season. Zolnierczyk was arrested last spring, then enrolled at Brown and played 16 games for the hockey team. Once the report in the Journal came out, he was then suspended.
Attempts by College Hockey News to reach Zolnierczyk's attorney, Richard Fowler, over the last two weeks have been unsuccessful. Messages have also been left for Brown's athletic department.
According to the Herald, the school's Director of Media Relations Molly DeRamel said the University was "aware of the matter" before Zolnierczyk was suspended, but did not elaborate.
Zolnierczyk had an arraignment scheduled for last Thursday, but it was postponed again.
According to College Hockey News sources, Zolnierczyk freely discussed the issue with teammates before the season started, expressing his concern for the matter hanging over his head. It's not clear whether Zolnierczyk also spoke freely about it with the coaching staff.
The Herald received an e-mail reply from a player which said the team has been "given strict rules not to comment or even respond to e-mails, phone calls or questions at all."
Zolnierczyk's arraignment is now scheduled for March 27. It was first scheduled for Oct. 11. Zolnierczyk faces two counts of voyeurism and three counts of child pornography.
Zolnierczyk, along with a teammate on his junior team, reportedly recorded themselves having sex with an underage girl, and posted it on YouTube. The charges are for the production, distribution and accessing of child pornography — which carries a maximum of 18 months in jail. The teammate with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Bradley Harding, pleaded guilty in the case.