Riley Riddell’s suspension from the Bemidji State hockey team could be the least of his worries.
Riddell was one of three students charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct on Wednesday, the charges stemming from an incident at an off-campus party during the weekend. The maximum penalty for the offense is a 15-year jail sentence and $30,000 fine.
According to the Bemidji Pioneer, Riddell, along with fellow seniors Scott Erick Savre and Tyrone Gordon Orde, attended an off-campus party during the weekend, where they met the alleged victim.
The 18-year old student claimed that Savre gave her a drink and, after tasting it, she began to feel queasy. The alleged victim asked Savre if there was anything in the drink. Minutes later, the victim said she began feeling sick and, the next thing she remembered was waking up in a bed.
According to the police report, Riddell, as well as several other partygoers, were present when she awoke. She claimed that Riddell, Savre and Orde assaulted her while she was semi-unconscious, and she recalled seeing several camera flashes. Afterwards, two people gave Riddell and the victim a ride back to his car, and Riddell drove the woman home.
According to the report, police were called to North Country Regional Hospital on Sunday night, where the woman was being treated for the alleged assault. The following day, officers searched Savre and Orde’s residence where they found a cell phone with photo capabilities, as well as other cameras. They then arrested Riddell, Savre and Orde, who were held in the Beltrami County Jail, according to the Pioneer.
The trio was arraigned on Wednesday morning, after which the Bemidji State Athletic Department released the following statement:
“During court proceedings today, three Bemidji State University students were arraigned and charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree stemming from an incident off campus. Bemidji State University has fully cooperated and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials in all aspects of the investigation. The University believes that the judicial process must be allowed to run its course and, as a result, will not comment relating to the specific charges brought forth in the complaint while the investigation is ongoing.
“At the same time, the University community is committed to providing a safe environment for the victim, and has initiated several actions to achieve this goal. The University has also been working closely with counselors and professional staff to provide support for the victim and others who may have been affected by this incident. This support system will be continued for as long as is necessary.
“One of those charged in this case is a student-athlete. The University has an established code of conduct for athletes. Pursuant to the BSU Student Athlete Handbook, the Bemidji State men’s hockey program has suspended Riley Riddell, a member of its team, indefinitely. The University is also reviewing the options afforded the institution through its student conduct system regarding the three individuals charged in this case.”
Riddell’s name was missing from the Bemidji State hockey team’s roster on Thursday. The 23-year old finished second on the Beavers and fourth overall among College Hockey America scorers with 34 points (13-21) in 36 games last season, and was named to the 2004 All-CHA Second Team. In three years at the school, Riddell has combined for 88 points (35-53) in 107 games.