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September 27, 2010Florida receiver Chris Rainey had a smile on his face as he walked outside Florida Field on Monday morning.
Now we know why.
The redshirt junior, indefinitely suspended from the team after being arrested two weeks ago on an accusation of aggravated stalking, has reached an agreement with the state attorney that could lead to a charge being dropped.
Rainey, 22, will not face prosecution if he can stay out of trouble with the law six months, performs 10 hours of community service and undergo anger-management evaluation, under an agreement reached Monday with State Attorney Bill Cervone.
This could clear the way for Rainey to return to the Gators.
However, Florida coach Urban Meyer said Monday that Rainey was still "not part of the team" and added he would not play this week against No. 1 Alabama.
Rainey had faced a third-degree felony charge of aggravated stalking.
In a written statement, Cervone said he dropped the charge to a misdemeanor largely because the alleged victim did not feel "threatened" by Rainey.
Rainey was arrested Sept. 14 after the alleged victim told police Rainey, a Lakeland native, was mad at her for missing his phone call and sent her a text message that read, "Time to die b--."
When officers responded, Rainey allegedly threatened the woman again.
According to a Gainesville Police Department press release, Rainey said, "Wait and see what happens when they leave."
After that, officers arrested Rainey's at his residence.
In his statement Monday, Cervone said, "I am not going to consider any request that the case be dropped in its entirety, however, because I am concerned when young people act in this way and believe that we should intervene at least to the point of forcing a cooling off period and some professional counseling on anger management and related coping skills."
Deferred prosecution isn't uncommon. The system is "offered to hundreds of first-time offenders each year in Alachua County," Spencer Mann, spokesman for the State Attorney's office, told the Gainesville Sun.
Rainey, who was Florida's starting slot receiver, has six catches for 34 yards and one touchdown this season. He also was the Gators' primary punt returner.