Originally published October 28, 2020 at 10:09a.m., updated October 28, 2020 at 02:24p.m.

Former KU basketball player Silvio De Sousa facing charge of aggravated battery, court records show

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) watches from the bench during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) watches from the bench during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.


A University of Kansas senior who recently announced he was leaving the men's basketball team is facing a case in Douglas County District Court, records show.

Silvio De Sousa, 22, is soon to be charged with aggravated battery, a level-5 or midlevel-severity felony.

The charging document, filed Monday, alleges that De Sousa “unlawfully, feloniously and recklessly cause(d) great bodily harm or disfigurement to another person.” The alleged incident was reported to Lawrence police as a battery at 2:36 a.m. Jan. 1 in the 1100 block of Massachusetts, department records show.

Douglas County Jail records do not indicate that De Sousa was arrested following the incident.

In an emailed response to questions about the incident, Lawrence Police Department spokesperson Patrick Compton said that an individual had approached a police officer at a local hospital “claiming to have been involved in a fight outside of a bar in the 1100 block of Massachusetts St. earlier that morning.” The officer was already at the hospital for an unrelated reason, Compton said.

“The individual was admitted to the hospital for injuries sustained during the incident,” Compton said.

De Sousa announced in a tweet on Oct. 16 that he was leaving the team for “personal issues,” the Journal-World reported.

“I have a lot of things weighing on my mind and need to address these by taking time for myself and stepping away from basketball,” De Sousa wrote in the tweet. “This was not an easy decision, but it’s the best thing for me to do right now.”

After graduating from IMG Academy early to join the Jayhawks during the second semester of the 2017-18 season, De Sousa played a key role in KU’s run to the 2018 Final Four. However, allegations of improper benefits taken by his guardian cost him the 2018-19 season, and his role in a Jan. 21 brawl with Kansas State players at Allen Fieldhouse during the 2019-20 season cost him another 12 games.

At the time of the alleged Jan. 1 incident, however, De Sousa was playing on the team.

In a statement emailed to the Journal-World Wednesday, Kansas coach Bill Self said that De Sousa told him “earlier this fall” that he had been contacted by local authorities regarding his alleged involvement in an incident on New Year’s Eve.

“He was not aware of the details from that incident until a couple weeks ago, which he then shared with me,” Self said. “These allegations were surprising to Silvio, as they were to us. Once we discussed the details, he decided it was in his best interest to opt out and focus on this matter. We mutually agreed that was the best course of action.”

Dorothy Kliem, trial assistant for the Douglas County district attorney’s office, said via email that the DA’s office received an affidavit and reports from the Lawrence Police Department on Sept. 30. She said the office received an updated affidavit from LPD on Oct. 16, then filed the case on Monday.

“The case was reviewed promptly upon receipt and a charging decision was made promptly thereafter,” she said.

Asked about the timeline of the police department's investigation, Compton said it was not handled any differently from any other investigation. He said in any case, there are a number of witnesses to interview and video surveillance to collect and review. He said those factors, compounded with coronavirus pandemic limitations, contributed to the length of the investigation.

Kliem said Wednesday that no one else has been charged or is being considered for charges in connection with the alleged incident “at this time.”

De Sousa’s first appearance in court, where he will be formally charged, is scheduled for Dec. 17, online court records show. A summons was issued on Tuesday. There was no attorney listed yet in court records who could comment about the case on De Sousa’s behalf.

KU records listed De Sousa as a student as of Wednesday morning.

For a conviction of a level-5 felony, a defendant could face anywhere from three years of probation to a maximum of 11 years and 4 months in prison under Kansas sentencing statutes, depending on criminal history. Even with no prior convictions, a defendant could face a maximum of 34 months in prison if a judge decided on a prison sentence rather than probation.

— Journal-World sports editor Matt Tait contributed to this article.


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 11 months ago

this helps explain a lot.

I still can't help but feel bad for Silvio, not knowing any more detail on this incident and short of a conviction in this case, however the evidence that he is a troubled individual is hard to ignore at this point.

Knowing this information, I am surprised that Bill Self didn't kick him off the team after the K-State incident.

The fact that this incident happened 10 months ago and he is only now being charged with battery, I wouldn't be surprised if the case is not exactly a cut and dried conviction. Perhaps he could be exonerated in court. But a felony conviction on this man will be a bad black eye on Bill Self for not removing Silvio from the program in February. Or maybe it drags on long enough that no one cares about it in the end, but still a bad look.

KU has way too many assault changes in the athletics department year after year. Football and Basketball. I would like to know the rate of assault charges on KU athletes compared to those at other institutions in our conference and across D1.

Dale Rogers 1 year, 11 months ago

The K-State incident was pretty much overblown by the media. I'm not saying it wasn't serious but the media made it sound worse than it was. Silvio started things by lording it over the ksu player. But ksu players then charged Silvio. Then the benches emptied. In the ensuing brouhaha, thre ksu players came at Silvio. He lofted the chair and threatened them with it. (What would YOU do if three guys were charging you??). He did NOT throw the chair. When those players backed down and a coach came up to him, he dropped the chair behind him. The media made it sound like he picked up the chair and looked around to find someone to attack with it. There are videos out there that clearly show the sequence of events surrounding the chair.

Jesse Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

To add a couple edits to your summary of the story: I would say the KSU player started it by stealing the ball when Silvio was just trying to dribble out the clock. Also, I watched the replay several times, and Silvio dropped the chair almost as soon as he picked it up, before the coach put his hand on him. You could tell he just realized immediately on his own he had made a bad decision.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

I blame K-State players for instigating the fight but it's hard to defend the chair.

Shannon Gustafson 1 year, 11 months ago

It says in the article that the charges were just recently issued and that neither Silvio or Self were aware of the investigation until very recently. Obviously Silvio knew of the fight (assuming he was involved) but that doesn't mean Self knew, and it doesn't mean Silvio knew any charges would come from it.

So with that in mind, how does this have anything to do with whether he was removed from the team or not in February?

How is it a bad look to remove him from the team as soon as the coach is made aware of the incident?

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 11 months ago

either they edited the article after I read it, or my reading comprehension is not what it used to be. Either way, I would be very surprised if Self honestly didn't know about the incident back in January. It seemed like De Sousa was already in the dog house back before the K-State incident. If someone went to the hospital and was claiming to have been punched by a KU Basketball player, I don't see any way that word of that incident doesn't make it back to Bill Self.

Scott Oswalt 1 year, 11 months ago

“He was not aware of the details from that incident until a couple weeks ago, which he then shared with me,” Self said. “These allegations were surprising to Silvio, as they were to us. Once we discussed the details, he decided it was in his best interest to opt out and focus on this matter. We mutually agreed that was the best course of action.”

Bryce Landon 1 year, 11 months ago

Looking back at the schedule, Kansas did not have a game on January 1. The Jayhawks were in between the Stanford game on December 29 and the West Virginia game on January 4. So it's quite possible that, in between, Silvio did commit this act of assault. Hopefully he didn't, and this was a case of mistaken identity, though.

Either way, this makes me feel even worse about all the time and money and resources invested in getting Silvio's two-year suspension reduced to one year

Dale Rogers 1 year, 11 months ago

I got the impression there is no question there was an incident and Silvio apparently agrees with that. The surprise is that almost 10 months later they decide to press charges. He was not arrested at the time of the incident so that adds to the surprise element.

Kenneth Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

This guy has been nothing but trouble for the KU basketball program from the time he came. Isn't it about time to cut all links with DeSousa?

Tim Orel 1 year, 11 months ago

Per NCAA rules, he still is considered a student on scholarship if he started the school year as a student. IIRC, he's still in good standing, but I have no idea if he's kept up his schooling or if he's left and taken incompletes or withdrawn from classes (the article said per the latest that Sylvio is still listed as a student). In any case, I really don't expect Sylvio to be back at KU in any kind of athletic role. The most I could see would be finishing his schooling remotely and then moving on, either to play professionally in Europe or some other location.

Ervin O'Neal 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't question the honesty of HCBS. But Silvio must not have been completely truthful with him. You have an incident like this and don't inform the coaching staff right away is a no no in most programs. But for the police to be investigating this incident for 10 months, interviewing witnesses, etc., how likely is it that Silvio was never questioned by the police until they informed him of the allegations in October?

Brian Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

Huh..didn't Bill say...and didn't Silvio say...uh I didn't know that Silvio's U.S. sponsor/parent had taken money to steer him to a certain this point uh yehhhh..righhhhhht.....sure! How many times can they claim ignorance and how long can we go along and believe them? The smell of dead fish is in the air!

Robert Brock 1 year, 11 months ago

How did nothing leak out about this incident over ten months in a dinky town like Lawrence?

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

Not going to go Brett McCabe on anyone but there have been too many incidents and allegations surrounding this program. If Coach Self can’t clean this up then a replacement is not out of the question. The KU basketball brand is too valuable to be tarnished and dragged through the mud.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

Yep! I like Bill a lot but everyone is replaceable......and Bill Self can be replaced if he doesn't get it under control. Maybe Larry will come out of retirement for the interim if it comes to all can post who you think would be the replacement candidates....almost too many to name.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 11 months ago

Mangino wasn’t replaceable. Be careful what you ask for.

Allin Herring 1 year, 11 months ago

Good ridence to DeSousa ! Hopefully we will never hear from him again. He has brought nothing but prolems and shqme to this program. Be gone forever.. Except for a few game in our final four run he was never a major contrivutor to the program.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 11 months ago

It will be interesting to hear how this fight evolved and find out what happened.

Was at KU from 96 to 2000, and hit the night life hard. Never did I have the desire to pick fights with D1 athletes. That seems to be common these days.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 11 months ago

everyone seems to want to be the person who gets their jaw broke by a future millionaire athlete. 15 minutes of fame I guess.

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