A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with second-degree assault in a case that involves Tennessee recruit Jannah Tucker. The No. 12 ranked 2013 recruit surprised the Lady Vols' staff in July when she did not report to campus as scheduled, instead sending an email citing unspecified "personal reasons."
Full Court has confirmed a police report and obtained court documents indicating that officers from the Franklin precinct of the Baltimore Police Department arrested Joshua Anthony Gerrard on Wednesday, July 25, at his home in Owings Mills, Md., on charges of second-degree assault. Gerrard remained in custody overnight and was released the following day on $50,000 bail. A trial date has been set for Feb. 10, 2014.
The Frankiln precinct confirmed that Tucker was the alleged victim in the case that led to last week's arrest.
According to police, a civil restraining order was also issued prohibiting Gerrard from contact with the victim. That order will remain in effect until Oct. 7, when Gerrard has been ordered to appear in the Baltimore County District Court in Towson, Md., for further hearings in the matter.
Maryland court records further indicate Gerrard had also been charged with second-degree assault in 2012, in a case that was subsequently dismissed as part of a plea disposition. The victim in the 2012 case is unknown at this time.
Reports of last week's arrest first began circulating on social media last week in a post by David Dickerson of Hoopkidz.com saying "Joshua Gerard, fmr Boyfriend of '13 ESPN #8 player, Jannah Tucker arrested for assault, holding TN recruit against her will."
Then on Tuesday, an Instagram message re-posted by Louisville guard Bria Smith, Tucker's former teammate on the Philly Belles AAU squad, alleged that Tucker has been the victim of domestic violence by a boyfriend who wanted to prevent her from leaving. The post, a copy of which appears below, consists of a photo of Smith and Tucker accompanying a message from an individual claiming to be Tucker's cousin and charging that the individual in question “beat her with a dog chain in her legs and body to prevent her from playin again,” and goes on to claim the abuse has been happening over the summer and was witnessed by the boyfriend's mother who did nothing to stop it.
The Tucker family could not be reached for comment, however, Full Court has spoken to a family friend, who requested anonymity but confirmed the essence of the Instagram post that Tucker had been the victim of an ongoing series of physical assaults by her 19-year-old boyfriend Gerrard, who briefly played basketball at the New Town, Md., high school where the two attended. The friend of the family also confirmed that Tucker is now home with her family and is currently in stable and healthy condition.
Smith's Instagram post touched off a wave of reaction on social media, including a flurry of activity from Tennessee staff and players on Twitter.
Head coach Holly Warlick tweeted, “No female deserves domestic violence. NO ONE. We will continue to pray for JT. She is a great BB player but an even better person. #Heal”
Assistant Kyra Elzy tweeted, “Stand up against domestic violence. The truth always comes out. No woman deserves it. We love you Jannah and will keep you up in prayer.”
Tennessee freshman Mercedes Russell, who played USA basketball with Tucker, posted a simple tweet, “praying for JT.”
Tucker, a 5-11 guard for New Town High School, averaged 30 points a game. The No. 12-ranked player in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50 rankings, Tucker was a two-time gold medalist for USA Basketball at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
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