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A top athlete at a suburban Dallas school has been charged in a sexual assault investigation, leading to his arrest and an immediate move that could affect the fortunes of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels.
As reported by the Associated Press, Dallas Morning News and NBC DFW, among other sources, five students at Prosper (Texas) High were arrested on Monday in connection with the sexual assault of another student. One of the students arrested, 17-year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter, is the son of Angels star outfielder Torii Hunter.
McClinton-Hunter cleared a $15,000 bail shortly after his arrest on Monday and was released from jail. Shortly thereafter, Hunter was placed on the Angels' restricted list for unidentified reasons, though Angels manager Mike Scioscia reported that Hunter had left the team for "a personal matter."
If there were any question over why Torii Hunter was taking an unplanned sabbatical from baseball, they were cleared up via his personal Twitter account later Monday night.
"This is very tough for a father," Hunter tweeted. "Thanks for ur prayers and support. Be Blessed everyone!"
This isn't the first time that Darius McClinton-Hunter has gained a national spotlight, though this is the first time his actions are being scrutinized for their negative impact. Previously, the Prosper junior had gained attention for his athleticism on the football field. A 5-foot-11, 165-pound speedster, Hunter was viewed as a legitimate Division I prospect as a wide receiver, and has already received scholarship offers from Utah, West Virginia, Wake Forest and Texas Tech, among other schools.
His relationship with his father has also been well documented by MLive.com from the younger Hunter's time in Grand Blanc, Mich.
Darius Hunter is one of three Hunter brothers who have emerged as pillars of the Prosper football program. Darius Hunter's brothers, Moonshadrik "Money" Hunter and Torii Hunter Jr., are also both considered top college football recruits, with Torii Jr. in particular considered a potential difference maker in college football.
Whether Darius Hunter ever gets to that stage now remains to be seen. At the moment, he has only been charged with a crime and is innocent until proven guilty, but the troubling nature of the allegations against him -- as well as the fact that he will be tried as an adult because he has already turned 17 -- raise considerable questions about whether or not the colleges which have expressed interest in him will stick with him.
Naturally, those considerations are distinctly secondary to worries about Hunter's safety and his ability to clear his name if the allegations against him are false … and the family's ability to move on and cope with his difficult future if they prove to be true, regardless of how far from the perceived character of Hunter's sons they seem to be.
"It's cool. I've been through that process. My brothers have been through that process. Just to see this come back around with my kids, it's good. It brings back old memories," Torii Hunter Sr. told Rivals.com affiliate Orangebloods.com in a previous interview. "And they're good kids. They're not just good athletes but they're good students and characters at school. Teachers love them, players love them and coaches love them. That's what I really worry about."
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