UPDATED Feb. 22, 1:21 a.m.
Boston University men’s hockey defenseman Max Nicastro pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape at a Brighton District Court arraignment Tuesday morning.
After being arrested Sunday at 6:30 a.m. by Boston University police Nicastro, 21, was held in jail until his arraignment.
If convicted, Nicastro, a junior, could face up to 20 years in state prison.
He was released Tuesday on $10,000 bail under a no-contact order forbidding him from having any direct or third-party contact with the alleged victim.
He is due back in court on March 26 for a probable cause hearing.
While the case is ongoing, he is permitted to return to his home state of California. Nicastro has also been suspended indefinitely from the Boston University hockey team.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said Tuesday afternoon Nicastro is “currently not enrolled at the university.”
“We have to do a fact-finding and investigation,” Riley said. “We get information from the student who is accusing the other student as well as the accused, and what we try to do is determine whether or not the student has violated the university’s code of student responsibilities, and that deals with the status of a student to be here. And if we believe a student has violated the code, then we make appropriate sanctions.
“In this case, for something like a sexual assault, the sanctions tend to be more on the severe side of things, but we first have to do an investigation to make a determination.”
Nicastro entered the courtroom on Tuesday in handcuffs. His mother, who had flown to Boston from California, was in the room for the arraignment. Nicastro covered his face throughout the arraignment with a legal pad.
Prosecuting attorney Gloriann Moroney said the alleged victim received medical treatment and underwent medical testing at Beth Israel Deaconess Center after the incident, which occurred on campus early Sunday morning. She was later released from the hospital.
The police report was impounded by the court and will not be released to the public due to the sensitive nature of the case.
During the arraignment, Hugh Curran, Nicastro’s attorney, said that Nicastro committed no criminal act.
The defense made a motion during the arraignment to preserve surveillance camera videos as evidence in connection with the case.
Through three seasons with the BU hockey team, Nicastro has played in 102 games, in which he has recorded 11 goals and 22 assists. He was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.
Riley said the university will continue to hold informational sessions about sexual assault on campus to raise awareness of the issue, but students must ultimately hold themselves responsible for their own decisions.
“We can certainly have sessions and there are sessions that student organizations do, that Student Health does. There are quick sort of things that we point out to people,” Riley said. “We can do all the sessions we want, but ultimately this comes down to people stopping and taking a little stock about how they are engaged with other people, how they treat other people. So I hope that we can have more of an opportunity to have discussions, individually.”
For the victims of sexual violence and their friends and families, Riley said the university can provide support and resources in various ways.
“In the case of sexual assault, there are any number of agencies near the university or in Massachusetts that we work with too,” he said. “And I often remind people that this is the kind of thing that not only affects a single victim who may have been involved, but also friends and family, and we like to make sure that particularly those friends and family – [who are also part of the BU community – that we also reach out to them and offer them assistance too.”
In a press release, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley urged victims of any sexual violence to first call 911. Additional help for victims of sexual violence is available through the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371.