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Craig Carter found guilty of multiple assault charges

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Pima County Sheriff’s Office | The Daily Wildcat Craig Carter, Former Arizona assistant coach for track and field.

Jurors found Craig Carter, former track and field assistant coach for the University of Arizona, guilty of aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a weapon after two and a half hours of deliberation Friday, March 30. He will be sentenced May 14 at 11 a.m. He faces anywhere from 5–23 years in prison.

Carter was charged with aggravated assault after he choked then-student and thrower Baillie Gibson and threatened her with a   box cutter. 

After the verdict was announced, Carter was handcuffed by court sheriffs and escorted out of the courtroom.

Carter is also charged with domestic-violence-related stalking and disruption of an educational institution for assulting Gibson outside of a classroom on April 29, 2015. A trial for those charges will be held on a later date.

If Carter had taken the plea bargain for all charges, he would have only had to complete three years and nine months in prison.  

While the trial was set to last ten days, it only took four, including one day of jury selection. 

On the first day, Gibson testified and told her story. On the second day, UA Police Department’s head detective of the case, Timothy Larkin, and Gibson’s best friend Julie LaBonte testified. The prosecution and defense rested their case, and Carter did not testify. 

Gibson and Carter were in a sexual relationship for over two years. 

The trial discussed multiple events in Gibson and Carter’s relationship, such as how it started, the discussion of online sex-toy store Adam and Eve and the aggravated assault incident on April     20, 2015.

On that date, Gibson tried to break the relationship with Carter, which started a string of text messages between the two. Carter called Gibson names and threatened to kill her. 

Later, when Gibson went to Carter’s office to break up with him in person, Carter grabbed her by the neck, strangled her and threatened her with a box cutter. 

Carter’s lawyers said he usually carried box cutters, because he had to fix things with them as part of his duties as coach. In his initial arrest interview, Carter admitted to getting rid of the box cutters by throwing them from his car on his way home. 

The case also delved into the consensual nature of their relationship. Gibson referred to an incident in Eugene, Oregon, where the Olympic trials were held in 2012, as rape. Gibson said she was intoxicated and asked Carter for a ride back to the team hotel after a night of drinking. The next morning, Gibson woke up not remembering the night before. She said Carter had taken pictures of her naked during the night, which he used as blackmail. 

Carter and his attorneys asserted that their relationship was entirely consensual. 

On the final day, the defense and prosecution had their final arguments, and the jury delivered the decision of guilty of aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a weapon.


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