University of Wisconsin football player Ernest Mason appeared in a pre-trial conference Thursday morning at the Dane County Court House. Mason was arrested last December and charged with disorderly conduct and intimidation of a victim after he allegedly beat his girlfriend in her room in Sellery residence hall and told her not to call the police.
Mason, 18, is a wide receiver and kick returner from Dunbar, Texas. If charged, he could face up to nine months in jail for each of the two misdemeanor charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Mason repeatedly shoved the victim’s head into walls, threw her down stairs and threatened revenge if she called the police.
The complaint stated Mason’s girlfriend suspected him of cheating on her and confronted him at her dorm room in Sellery Hall. Mason allegedly became furious and proceeded to assault her in the dormitory. The victim then took Mason’s keys and ran down the hallway, where Mason locked the victim in a trash room, letting her out only when she threatened to throw the keys down the trash chute, according to the report.
The couple then went to Mason’s Ogg Hall dorm room, where they continued to fight. The victim’s housefellow called the police after she saw the two fighting violently on the ninth floor of Sellery Hall. The police responded to the call and Mason was arrested at the scene.
The freshman was immediately suspended from the football team due to UW’s new student-athlete discipline policy. However, a few weeks later, an appeals committee cleared Mason to play in the Dec. 31, 2003, Music City Bowl.
Mason caught one pass for 19 yards and averaged 15.3 yards per kickoff return in his first season as a Badger.
Steve Malchow, UW director of communications, said UW has no comment at this time.
The pre-trial conference held Thursday introduced evidence and witnesses both the prosecution and defense plan to use in the trial.
Dane County Court Manager, Wayne Pfister said no detailed information about the pre-trial could be released because of a system-wide computer outage at the courthouse Thursday.