York County Coroner IDs woman who died after three-vehicle crash in Hanover

York athlete avoids sex-assault conviction with 'compromise' guilty plea

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Jakkar Kinard

A former York Catholic High School star football player previously cleared of York-area robbery charges has pleaded guilty to simple assault in Erie County for an alleged sexual assault.

Trial for Jakkar Kinard, 20, was set for last week in Erie County Court.

Instead, the York City man pleaded guilty March 18 in Erie to two counts of simple assault and one count of disorderly conduct, all graded as misdemeanors, according to court records.

"It was an obvious compromise," York-based defense attorney Farley Holt said of the negotiated plea agreement. "It saved the victim from the anguish of having to go through trial and saved my client the risk of conviction."

In exchange for Kinard's plea, a felony count of sexual assault and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault were dismissed, court records state.

Kinard was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, according to court records.

"I'm very pleased. I think it was a reasonable outcome," Holt said. "(Prosecutors) had problems with their case — and we may have had problems with our side of the case."

Not a Megan's Law case: Kinard did not plead to any sexual assault-related charge, and therefore is not a Megan's Law offender, his attorney noted.

Jakkar Kinard had a standout football career at York Catholic. After graduating, he signed to play NCAA Division II football at Mercyhurst University in Erie.

Holt said Kinard's probation is expected to be transferred from Erie County to York County and that an Erie judge has already approved the transfer.

"He's going to try to get back into school and try to pursue his (college) education — and hopefully play football again," Holt told The York Dispatch.

"This has been eating at him. It's been eating at his family," the attorney said. "I think he and his whole family are relieved this is behind him."

Kinard had been accused of sexually assaulting a drunken woman during a Halloween-night party hosted by university baseball players.

At the time, Kinard was a student at Mercyhurst University, but he is no longer a student there, Holt has said.

Former allegations: Erie Police had alleged Kinard had sex with the young woman in a bathroom at a house on Pine Avenue where Mercyhurst baseball players live.

The 19-year-old woman told police she'd been raped. She said she blacked out after drinking alcohol and doesn't remember how she wound up in the bathroom or how her pants ended up getting pulled down, charging documents stated.

"Jakkar believed it was consensual," Holt said. "They had both been drinking."

At Kinard's January 2018 preliminary hearing, the victim admitted under cross-examination by Holt that "she could have possibly said yes" to having sex, Holt has said.

"Her friends say she was stumbling around and slurring words and that they were concerned about her," Holt said at the time. "But they weren't concerned enough to keep an eye on her the whole evening."

The victim was in court last week for Kinard's plea and supported the negotiated agreement, according to Holt.

York Catholic's Jakkar Kinard, right, is one of the leading returning players in the York-Adams League.

"Like the prosecutor said in court, the victim just wanted (Kinard) to accept some type of responsibility for what transpired that night," Holt said.

 York County case: Kinard was accused in May 2017 of participating in the robbery and assault of an acquaintance in York Township.

More:York Catholic football star avoids criminal record

However, the victim in the case, Kenyaan Williams, said Kinard didn't participate in either the assault or the robbery. Williams said Kinard did watch the assault.

Kinard pleaded guilty in York County Court in December 2017 to the summary citation of disorderly conduct. He was fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs.

Summary offenses are akin in seriousness to traffic tickets.

As part of his agreement, charges of simple assault and harassment against him were dropped. Robbery charges filed against him were withdrawn in June at Kinard's preliminary hearing.

Holt called his client's plea "an obvious compromise" and said Kinard shouldn't have been charged with anything because he wasn't involved.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.