MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – University of Minnesota basketball player Reggie Lynch is dropping his appeal in two sexual misconduct cases dating back to 2016.

Lynch was set to attend appeal hearings at the university on Thursday and early next week on allegations of sexual assault by two women between April and May of 2016. Back in January, attorney Ryan Pacyga said Lynch categorically denied all allegations against him and said he never had sexual contact with either women.

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Lynch spoke publicly for the first time on Thursday since being suspended. He maintains his innocence, but does not feel he can go through a fair appeals process. By not attending Thursday’s appeal hearing, Lynch is accepting expulsion from the University of Minnesota. Pacyga says he has the necessary credits to graduate and is pursuing a professional basketball career.

(credit: CBS)

“I didn’t commit any of the acts I’m being accused of. I feel helpless and powerless,” Lynch said Thursday. “I feel scared that this is the climate we live in today. My friends, family and anyone who knows me knows the truth. I have become a victim of false accusations.”

The school began investigating Lynch last fall after a woman filed a complaint, saying he assaulted her in his dorm room in April of 2016. At that time, the University recommended Lynch be suspended until at least 2020 and banned from campus.

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Another accuser then came forward, saying she was assaulted by Lynch on April 7, 2016, at an off-campus location. The EOAA finished the investigation of that case in January and recommended Lynch be expelled from the University of Minnesota.

Pacyga said back in January that he was afraid for Lynch and that he was robbed of an opportunity to clear his name.

Lynch was also arrested back in 2016 on suspicion of sexual assault in another case and spent a weekend in the Hennepin County Jail, but never faced criminal charges. That incident was also investigated by the EOAA, and Lynch was eventually cleared.

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The Gopher basketball team has one just one game since Lynch was suspended. His career with the Gophers is over.