A University of Iowa men’s basketball player is facing a sexual assault charge. 19-year-old Pierre Pierce of Westmont, Illinois, appeared in Johnson County court this morning on charges of third-degree sexual assault. Court records say the sophomore guard performed unwanted sex acts on the victim while she was at his Iowa City home. The court records also say when the woman resisted, Pierce held her hands over her head, and held his hands over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. The woman was not identified in the court papers. She was treated for injuries she received in the alleged assault. Pierce’s defense attorney, Alfredo Parrish says this was an act of consensual sex, and Pierce will plead “not guilty.” Pierce was released without bail and is restricted to travel in Iowa and Illinois. Pierce is also not allowed to have contact with the victim.University of Iowa officials suspended Pierre Pierce from the Hawkeye basketball team after he was charged with third-degree sexual abuse. University of Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby issued a statement saying this has been a difficult process for everyone and, “We want to do everything possible to accommodate a fair, thorough and appropriate resolution.” Bowlsby says Pierce is suspended immediately from all basketball related activities and team functions. Bowlsby says while the typical procedure is to let the legal process run its course, the allegations are severe enough to necessitate Pierce’s suspension. Head basketball coach Steve Alford issued a statement saying, “We understand the serious nature of the charges that have been made towards Pierre.” The statement goes on to say the entire basketball team stands behind pierce as “we hope for a very fair outcome to this charge.”