MONTREAL – The lawyer for an all-star McGill University football player charged in an alleged case of domestic violence says his client was the victim and not the aggressor.
On Thursday, Guimont-Mota, was formally arraigned on charges of assault and uttering threats against his estranged wife.
He was immediately released on $300 bail and a host of conditions.
The incidents allegedly occurred earlier this week.
The third-year business management student and starting running back for the McGill Redmen was arrested at a downtown apartment Wednesday morning.
McGill University says it will conduct an in-depth review of guidelines on who can participate in varsity sports following his arrest.
The university is also standing by its decision to suspend the football player, who is facing charges of assault and uttering threats.
The institution said Friday he shouldn’t have been allowed to take the field at all given a criminal conviction stemming from a previous incident, in 2010 in Quebec City.
In a brief statement to the McGill community, deputy provost Ollivier Dyens said inviting the player, who was not named, was a mistake.
“This individual should not have been invited to join our team,” Dyens said.
“That was not in accordance with the values of our community.”
Dyens says there have been a few incidents in recent years where relevant information concerning football players was not dealt with appropriately at McGill.
“We take responsibility for those errors and are committed to preventing them in the future,” he said.
Dyens said a review of just who is allowed to participate in varsity sports is required.
His office will be responsible for conducting the review, which is aimed at ensuring that “rules and regulations are aligned with and reinforce transparent decision-making, accountability and commitment to the values that define the McGill learning environment.”
“We neither tolerate violence on campus nor behaviours that are contrary to the values and principles of our community.”
Guimont-Mota’s lawyer says the university was too hasty in suspending his client from the football team.
“I think they acted too fast just to protect their image and they don’t know the facts,” said Steve Hanafi, Guimont-Mota’s lawyer.
Hanafi says the 22-year-old is considering filing a cross-complaint against his estranged wife, the alleged victim in the current case.
The two were married in 2012, but are now considering a divorce, said the lawyer.
Guimont-Mota had previously pleaded guilty to assault outside a Quebec City bar in May 2010.
He was sentenced last February to 90 days in jail to be served discontinuously, according to publicly accessible court records.
Local newspapers in the provincial capital carried stories about the sentence, which was to be served one day a week to allow him to continue playing football.
Guimont-Mota, a Quebec City native, played football there before coming to McGill.
He was named the club’s offensive player of the year in 2013.
The domestic violence case returns to court Feb. 23, 2015.