WVU basketball: Holton pleads no contest to felony charge
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Jonathan Holton, a junior college forward who signed with the West Virginia University men's basketball team earlier this month, pleaded no contest to a felony charge of video voyeurism Wednesday and had a second charge dropped.
Holton appeared in Rhode Island's Washington County Superior Court to resolve an episode that began 14 months ago. Holton was a freshman at the University of Rhode Island - he made the Atlantic 10's all-rookie team - when he was arrested and charged with the two video voyeurism counts.
A clerk at the superior court said the no contest plea includes two years of unsupervised probation and forbids any contact with the victims in the case.
Holton started 26 of 31 games in the 2011-12 season with the Rams and averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 rebounds. He was expelled following the arrests and played this past season at Florida's Palm Beach State College.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Holton averaged 17.5 points while leading all junior college players with 14.1 rebounds per game. He also shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range for a team that was ranked as high as No. 2 and finished with a 29-3 record.
"Jonathan had a wonderful year," Butch Estes, Holton's coach at Palm Beach State College, said earlier this month. "He has matured and he's been no trouble whatsoever. He's been obviously a great basketball player and he was great to coach. There were no issues at all."
In March 2012, two female students at URI claimed they had consensual sex with Holton in separate events, but that Holton videotaped both encounters without consent. They discovered the videos on Facebook. Holton's attorney, Providence's John E. McDonald, disputed the charges and claimed an "unauthorized third party accessed Mr. Holton's account without his consent and maliciously sent these images under his name."
Two days after the arrest, Holton was arrested again on a warrant for a robbery charge back home in Miami. He was additionally charged with being a fugitive from justice and then a third felony after police discovered a laptop seized during the first arrest had been stolen from a URI residence hall eight months before. The charge for possessing stolen goods was later dropped.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at email@example.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.