JayVaughn Pinkston was never expected to serve any jail time for throwing punches in a post-party altercation with two fraternity brothers at the start of his Freshman year at Villanova. The incident has him facing charges — for which he remains free on $2,500 of unsecured bail — which have remained unresolved since 2010. Now, the incident that occurred in Upper Merion Township is close to a final resolution.
The starting forward was initially charged with two counts each of simple assault and harassment, but one of the assault charges was dropped at a preliminary hearing.
Pinkston's attorney, James Famiglia, has been pressing prosecutors to allow his client to participate in the Accellerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which would allow him to avoid a criminal record and any jail time once completed. The program is reserved for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes, but apparently exceptions are made. Though the assault charges would not normally qualify, prosecutors have decided to recommend that Pinkston be admitted to the ARD program, pending approval from a Montgomery County judge at a hearing scheduled for next month.
"Rare exceptions to that rule may be approved when the facts and circumstances of a particular case warrant it," Assistant D.A. Lauren McNulty explained to Main Line Media News. "After extensive consultation with the Upper Merion Police Department and the victims in this case, the district attorney has determined that the facts and circumstances of the events surrounding JayVaughn Pinkston's involvement with the criminal justice system are best resolved by his acceptance and participation in the ARD Program."
If the judge approves the use of ARD in Pinkston's case, the rising junior will not have to admit guilt to the charges but will be placed on probation for two years. Additionally, he will be required to (1) compensate the victims for medical expenses; (2) successfully complete anger management classes; (3) have no contact with two individuals involved in the altercation; (4) maintain good academic standing at Villanova University; and (5) perform 375 hours of community service.
For Pinkston, keeping his nose clean, his grades up and performing community service is a relatively-small price to pay — but all of those things are expected of a Villanova basketball player anyway. Anger management classes may be a more challenging experience, of course, but an understandable condition of the program. The biggest penalty, however, could be the requirement to pay for medical expenses, which will be difficult on a college athlete's salary (or lack thereof).
While this would resolve the criminal charges in a sense, for Pinkston, it means that he won't truly be out of the Doghouse for another two years.
The case had been pushed off of the trial schedule a number of times since the incident as Pinkston's attorney awaited word on whether or not prosecutors would agree to this ARD program. Conviction at trial on all counts could have resulted in a maximum sentence of one-to-two years in jail.
As Fact on Villanova Theatre pointed out, the penalty here is no slap on the wrist. Though Pinkston would avoid the threat of jail time, and will have a chance to clear his record completely, the requirements of the program are still a burden that he will have to bear.