Smith concentrating on football

Badgers No. 2 tailback faces sexual assault charge

For the first time since being arrested and charged with second-degree sexual assault in February, Dwayne Smith spoke to reporters Wednesday, during Wisconsin's football media day.

"What I'm focused on right now is football," Smith said. "I'm here at camp and going in to have a good camp."

Smith declined to comment on his case but insisted that he can put it out of his mind and focus on football.

"This is sort of a refuge," he said.

Smith was arrested Feb. 23 and later charged with raping a 19-year-old woman following a downtown drinking party. Another man, 22-year-old Anwar Jones, is charged with being party to the crime of second-degree sexual assault for allegedly leading the woman to an apartment where the assault took place.

Both men were arraigned in May and pled not guilty. There cases are expected to go to trial in September.

"I have the support of my family and coaches and teammates, so everything is going to work out," Smith said Wednesday. He later added, "I'm not nervous at all. I have the support. I have my faith in God. So everything is going to work out."

Asked if he tries to block out the thought that he might not be able to play football, Smith responded:

"I don't even think about that. I'm excited going into the season. I know we are going to be a great team so that's what I'm looking forward to right now."

Following his arrest in February, Smith was initially suspended indefinitely under the terms of Wisconsin's Student-Athlete Discipline Policy. An appeals committee, citing witness testimony that "uniformly contradicted the nature of the allegations", modified the suspension to five practices, allowing Smith to return for the bulk of spring workouts.

"I was anxious and excited to get back on the field," Smith said.

Smith's and Jones' cases were originally scheduled to go to trial Sept. 1, but Smith's defense attorney, Charles Giesen, has filed a motion asking that the case either be dismissed or remanded for a new preliminary hearing. The initial preliminary hearing took place March 26. A response to the defense motion is due by Sept. 13.

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