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Gophers center Reggie Lynch suspended until 2020 for sexual misconduct

MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota center Reggie Lynch has been found responsible for violating the school's sexual misconduct policy in the spring of 2016 and has been suspended from school and the team until August 2020, according to a copy of findings by the U's Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

Lynch, 23, can appeal the decision.

It was the second EOAA investigation into an alleged sexual assault by Lynch, a senior from Edina who transferred to Minnesota after two seasons at Illinois State. He was arrested on suspicion of raping a 19-year-old woman in a campus apartment building on campus May 8, 2016, but wasn't charged and was cleared by a school investigation.

In that case, the EOAA investigation found it more likely than not that Lynch reasonably believed the sex was consensual.

After his arrest, Lynch was suspended from the team and Minneapolis police investigated the case. The Hennepin County Attorney chose not to charge him, and Lynch was reinstated after the EOAA investigation.

This time, Lynch has been found to have violated the U's rules on sexual misconduct in a separate incident in spring of 2016. The vicitim was a 20-year-old student attending a separate university. He was not suspended during the most recent investigation because there was no police investigation.

According to a copy of the report obtained by the Pioneer Press, effective Jan. 9, Lynch's "university studentship will be suspended with a disciplinary hold placed on his record preventing him from registering at the school. That may be re-established no earlier than Aug. 1, 2020.

He also is banned from campus, including "all university events."

An athletics department spokesman could not be reached late Thursday.

The defending Big Ten defensive player of the year, Lynch was averaging 10 points, 7.7 points and 3.9 blocks in 15 games this season for the Gophers, who play host to Indiana on Saturday at Williams Arena. They are 13-3 overall, 2-1 in the Big Ten.