Michigan hockey forward Alex Guptill, an LSA junior, attended a hearing at the 15th District Court on Monday afternoon in response to an incident he was involved in on Sept. 16, 2013.
Guptill was originally charged with two counts of assault and battery after an undisclosed incident on the University’s campus, but his terms were reduced to one assault charge — a misdemeanor — contingent on complete compliance with the terms of his probation.
Guptill’s legal counsel requested consideration for a program that would allow the charge to eventually be removed from his record if he is able to successfully complete his probation. The Wayne County Prosecutor will determine his eligibility for the program, but there’s no word yet on if it will be granted. Guptill’s attorney, Douglas Lewis, director of the University’s Student Legal Services Team, told the judge he was “an ideal candidate.”
The judge determined that Guptill “put (the victim) in fear of being pushed or shoved,” and he “didn’t have permission to do so,” which constitutes the charge. After pleading guilty, Guptill was instructed not to contact the victim, though it seemed likely he did not know him.
This is Guptill’s second appearance in the district court after he was charged with public urination in August of 2011.
Guptill was suspended for the Wolverines’ first exhibition game against Waterloo and the season opener against then-No. 4 Boston College.
In September, Michigan coach Red Berenson noted that Guptill would be suspended for an “off-ice issue,” because of “something that happened in the fall.” Monday, Berenson affirmed that Guptill’s suspension was a result of the assault and battery charges brought forth after his incident in September.
“We did the right thing, and Alex has done everything he’s supposed to do,” Berenson said. “It’s too bad the system has taken this long to get it dealt with, but we’re in a good place.”
Since then, the junior has competed in all but three of the Wolverines’ contests. He didn’t make the team’s trip to Minnesota due to an upper-body injury and was a healthy scratch Feb. 22 against Penn State.
In 30 games this season, Guptill has scored 12 goals and added 13 assists for a plus-6 rating. Monday, he was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention.