Clemons’ jail time ends

Former Missouri guard still
has two years of supervised probation to serve.
Monday, August 25, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:13 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Former Missouri guard Ricky Clemons was released from Boone County Jail on Sunday after completing a 60-day sentence.

Clemons had been jailed for misdemeanor third-degree assault and false imprisonment of Jessica Bunge, his former girlfriend. Bunge said he choked her and prevented her from leaving his apartment in January. Clemons pleaded guilty in April. He will have two years of supervised probation.

Jim Kniest, a public information officer with the Missouri Department of Corrections, said that the conditions of a standard probation will apply to Clemons. That includes requesting permission to move or leave the state, maintaining a job or enrollment in an approved academic institution and reporting to his parole officer when directed. Clemons must also have no contact with Bunge.

At 1 p.m., Clemons, wearing a white T-shirt and gray sweat pants and carrying two plastic bags of his possessions, left through the back door. About 20 reporters and photographers met Clemons, but he repeatedly declined to answer questions. He slowly made the short walk around the outside of the building, entering the sheriff’s department in the front.

Clemons maintained his silence and was glassy-eyed as reporters continued to ask for comment. After about 10 minutes, an unidentified woman entered the building and escorted Clemons outside. Clemons got into a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, its windows covered by newspapers. The woman entered a second car and followed the Jeep off the jail property.

Clemons served the first 18 days of his sentence at a work-release program at Reality House in Columbia. Circuit Court Judge Gene Hamilton ordered Clemons to remain in jail for the balance of his sentence after he suffered a severe concussion, punctured lung and broken ribs after an all-terrain vehicle accident on UM system president Elson Floyd’s property July 4.

Clemons was removed from the team and had his scholarship revoked July 22.

Clemons averaged 14.2 points in 34 minutes as a junior for the Tigers last season after spending two years of junior college at the College of Southern Idaho.

Last week, the FBI requested 28 hours of recorded conversation and incoming mail delivered to Clemons.

The NCAA is examining allegations Bunge made that Clemons received money, clothing and excessive academic assistance during his time with Missouri. The investigation has also explored the time Clemons and former Missouri recruit Uche Okafor spent at CSI, but the NCAA has yet to contact the MU athletic department about its inquiry.

Missouri’s internal investigation of Bunge’s claims also is ongoing.

Meanwhile, in two newspaper interviews published Sunday, Bunge said she was disappointed to have received little sympathy or support and no apology from the university and its athletic department. She did not return messages left with relatives seeking comment Sunday about Clemons’ release.

In depositions and media interviews, Bunge recounted other allegations of Clemons’ violence, including a previous choking and once when he broke a bathroom door in anger at her Columbia residence.

“He really, really needs help,” Bunge told The Kansas City Star.

In a separate interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bunge said she had “no idea” what would unfold when she decided to go to police after the January problem.

“But it ended up just exploding,” she said.

“The concern (from the outset) was more about Ricky, and not me,” Bunge, who attends school in Chicago, told the Post-Dispatch. “From then on, I realized how it was going to be.”

Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs at the Columbia campus, told the Post-Dispatch the university has various services for crime victims, but noted that Bunge was not enrolled at the time of the January incident.

Bunge said she talked briefly with a counselor from the university Women’s Center whom she had met while a student, but was not allowed continued meetings with the counselor because she was not enrolled.

“At the time that it happened, she wasn’t a student so it was real hard for us to figure out how to assist her,” Scroggs said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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