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Former Illinois basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr. to face trial for rape charge

Former Illinois basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. to stand trial for rape and sexual battery charges in Kansas on June 10.

Former Illinois basketball standout Terrence Shannon Jr. is set to face trial on serious charges of first-degree felony rape and felony sexual aggravated battery on June 10, as determined by a Kansas judge following a preliminary hearing reported by ESPN.

During the arraignment on Friday, Shannon pleaded not guilty before the judge, who found sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. The allegations stem from an incident in September when Shannon was in Lawrence, Kansas, for an Illinois football game. A woman accused Shannon of sexually assaulting her, leading to his arrest after she identified him through a Google search and reported the incident to the authorities.

In December, Shannon was suspended indefinitely by Illinois and missed several games after being charged with engaging in sexual intercourse without consent, a severe felony offense. However, he was later allowed to return to the team after obtaining a temporary restraining order from a federal judge and resumed playing on Jan. 21. Shannon played a key role in leading the Fighting Illini to the Elite Eight.

With the court date set for June 10, Shannon is expected to conclude his legal proceedings before the NBA Draft, which is scheduled for June 26-27. In a recent mock draft by The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, Shannon is projected as the No. 43 overall pick in the second round to the Miami Heat.

Despite the judge's ruling at the preliminary hearing, Shannon's legal team emphasized that it does not determine his guilt or innocence in the case. Mark Sutter, one of Shannon's attorneys, stated that the hearing is merely a procedural step to assess the evidence threshold and whether a trial is warranted. The ultimate decision on Shannon's innocence or guilt will be made during the trial, and his legal team looks forward to presenting their case in court.

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