News

Athlete gets court diversion

The first of six Castleton State College athletes charged in a string of thefts from Dick’s Sporting Goods was in court Dec. 4 to answer to charges.
George Busharis, quarterback on the football team,  appeared in Rutland Criminal Division of Superior Court  facing four misdemeanor counts of retail theft, said Assistant Court Clerk Tammy Medor.
“The state has referred the case to the Diversion Program,” Medor said. “It’s a process outside of the court system.”
According to vtcourtdiversion.org, the Court Diversion Program is for individuals who have been charged with a crime and are referred by the state’s attorney for this out of court program.
The site further explains that participation in the program is entirely voluntary and that participants who successfully complete the program avoid a permanent criminal record.
Under the watch of case mangers, those who participate are expected to claim responsibility for their actions, pay a fee, meet with a board of community volunteers, and with the assistance of the Review Board, develop a contract designed to repair the damages of their crime.
According to Medor, the five other Castleton student athletes implicated in the thefts are also scheduled to appear before the court for a calendar call.
Mark Comstock and Zach Howe each face one misdemeanor count of retail theft. Eric Cross faces two counts of misdemeanor retail theft and Dominic Heller faces three counts of the same charge. All are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 8, Medor said.
“Most cases are resolved at the calendar call,” she said.
Additionally, Castleton’s star wide receiver Brandon Boyle is also on the court docket, but facing a felony retail theft charge.
“He’s on a little different track because it’s a felony,” Medor said, comparing the process to that of the five other Castleton students.
At this point, his case is in a state of trial preparation. Depositions in the case are due to the court by April with an anticipated one-day trial to be held sometime after May 1, Medor said.