LAWRENCE — Kansas football running back Anthony “Pooka” Williams’ legal problems have taken a significant step toward a resolution.
Williams, charged with misdemeanor domestic battery stemming from an early-December incident involving a female KU student, was granted diversion in his case, attorney Hatem B. Chahine said during a Wednesday morning appearance at Douglas County District Court. Williams had previously applied for diversion through the Douglas County District Attorney, who approved the request in a move that can be finalized at a potential final court appearance at 9 a.m. Feb. 13.
If he accepts the terms of diversion, Williams can keep a conviction off his record, Chahine said.
“All I want to say is the D.A.’s office is in charge with approving diversions,” Chahine later told reporters. “In my mind there wasn’t (any question the request would be approved), but that’s a question for diversion, the person that processes diversion, and that would be with the D.A.’s office.”
Douglas County District Attorney’s office public information officer Cheryl Wright Kunard told The Topeka Capital-Journal that Williams “met the standard qualifications to be approved for consideration of a diversion as any defendant charged with the same offense.”
Arrested by KU police on Dec. 6 for an incident that occurred the previous day, Williams is accused of punching in the stomaching and grabbing at the throat of an 18-year-old female KU student with whom he was intimately involved. According to an affidavit released Dec. 20, the alleged victim showed text messages to a responding officer where Williams “admitted to punching (the victim) in the arms,” while Williams acknowledged pushing the female student “when he saw her in a room with other guys.”
Williams, who rushed for 1,125 yards and accounted for 10 touchdowns as a freshman, was suspended indefinitely from all team activities following the arrest.
KU didn’t respond to request for comment on Wednesday’s development. In announcing Williams’ suspension on Dec. 7, head coach Les Miles said the team is “taking these allegations very seriously.”