Earlier this week, the fabled Boston University hockey team received a slap shot of its own, when one of its players was arrested on Massachusetts rape charges.
A Boston University spokesperson confirmed that Max Nicastro, a defenseman on the hockey team, was arrested on Massachusetts sexual assault charges. BU police arrested Nicastro, age 21, Sunday, Feb. 19 on the Charles River Campus. They reported that a female student accused Nicastro and that allegedly, the incident occurred on campus, but little other details were released. Nicastro was arraigned Tuesday Feb. 21 in Brighton District Court on two counts of rape, and was released on $10,000 cash. As a Boston, Massachusetts rape defense lawyer, I’ve seen bail go higher and lower than that, but regardless, $10,000.00 cash is no small amount. At the arraignment, prosecutors did not reveal any information about the allegations, due to the fact that Boston Municipal Court Judge Franco Gobourne ordered all reports in the case to be impounded, citing the confidentiality interests of the alleged victim. Allegedly, the sexual assault occurred in the early hours of Sunday February 19, just hours after Nicastro scored a goal in BU’s loss to UMass-Lowell on Saturday night, February 18 at BU’s Agannis Arena. He was arrested at 6:30 AM Sunday, February 19.
Nicastro has claimed he is innocent of the charges, and his attorney has commented that, “We believe that when all the facts are out there, this will be found to not be a criminal act.” Regardless of the final outcome of this case, consider the kind of lifelong damages that can easily result from an allegation of rape or sexual assault: Nicastro was a rising star in the hockey world and was third-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, when he was just 17. Earlier this week, a BU spokesperson confirmed that Nicastro was not only expelled from the hockey team, but he is longer a student at BU. The spokesperson refused to comment on whether Nicastro voluntarily withdrew or had been expelled. It doesn’t matter that, constitutionally, Nicastro is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty: His personal life and quite possibly his professional career are forever blemished and compromised. More so, the allegations have spread beyond just Nicastro, and impacted the entire BU sports culture: Due to the fact that another BU hockey player and the team’s top scorer, Corey Trivino, was accused of sexual assault in the past ten weeks, the entire hockey culture at BU is being investigated by the school. Trivino, who like Nicastro pleaded not guilty to the charges, was forced off the hockey team, but remained a student at the school. Not so for Nicastro: He is history at BU.
In my view as a Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, these are extremely severe consequences for a young person to face, upon the mere allegation of a sexual assault. But police, prosecutors, and society in general do not take these accusations lightly, and the consequences underscore yet again how important it is to be extremely cautious in social situations involving any kind of intimate contact. Otherwise, a person – even if he is innocent – can end up with a Scarlet Letter on his forehead, for the rest of his life.
If you or someone you care about has been accused of sexual assault or rape, it is extremely important that you obtain experienced legal counsel, and without delay. Critically, do not choose an attorney based on minimizing legal fees – in the legal profession as in elsewhere, you “get what you pay for.” Equally important, do not hire an attorney who is not extremely experienced at defending these types of cases – one who only handles them “now and again.” You will very likely be sorry for that decision. At the Law Office of William D. Kickham and Associates, we know how to defend these cases very successfully. Call us at either Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or email us here for a free initial consultation. We’d be glad to assess the facts and provide you your best legal options.