UPDATE: Illini Softball Player To Face Charge Of Vandalizing Menorah
UPDATE: University of Illinois Campus Police say a 21-year-old member of the University of Illinois women's softball team, Ruby A. Fernandez-Rivera, has been issued a notice to appear in court in connection with the weekend vandalizing of the menorah outside the Illini Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Champaign.
Fernandez-Rivera faces a charge of criminal damage to property. Campus Police spokesman Patrick Wade says a young man who was with Fernandez-Rivera during the attack on the menorah, is not facing charges, because of his lesser involvement in the incident.
Wade says Fernandez-Rivera told police she was trying to unscrew a light bulb on the menorah, did not mean to break it and volunteered to apologize personally to the Center's director, Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel.
U of I Interim Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk released a statement late Tuesday – saying both of those outside involved in the incident have received suspensions.
Fernandez-Rivera has been suspended indefinitely from competition with the softball team. The other student with her, identified only as a male gymnast, has been suspended from the next two competitions. Kowalczyk also says both will be required to complete community service hours as part of an internal disciplinary action.
"I've spoken to the student-athletes and to the staff at the Center, and made it very clear that his behavior falls far short of the high expectations we hold for everyone who represents the University of Illinois," he said.
The attack on the menorah at the orthodix Jewish center in Champaign occurred early Sunday morning. It was the third time the menorah had been vandalized since the start of last year.
Chabad Center director, Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel told the News-Gazette that the menorah, which had been repaired in the past, would be replaced with a stronger one. But he said the string of recent attacks showed the need to teach greater respect for differing beliefs.
BELOW: Security video of the menorah being damaged, released by U of I Campus Police.