Indiana Daily Student

Women\'s basketball star pleads guilty to felony

Senior forward Rachael Honegger has been sentenced to six months on house arrest for embezzling a grocery store out of about $13,000.\nMonroe Circuit Judge David Welch sentenced Honegger, 22, on Monday to a three-year jail term, suspending all but six months of that sentence.\nSince pleading guilty to forgery, a Class C felony, in October, Honegger has been serving limited house arrest that has allowed the senior to continue playing with the Hoosiers.\nUnder the terms of Monday's sentence, Honegger, who has started all 20 of IU's games this year, can continue to play and travel with the team.\nAthletics director Clarence Doninger said Thursday that the University has taken internal disciplinary action against Honegger, but declined to elaborate.\nIn sentencing Honegger, Welch gave her credit for the time she has already served on house arrest, but ordered to pay $13,117.44 restitution for the money she bilked from the Ellettsville IGA.\nShe worked in the store's office during the off season while attending IU. The thefts took place during a number of years.\nIn a probable cause affidavit filed in June, a State Police detective said Honegger confessed to forging money orders and taking cash from the store, saying she needed the money because she was planning to marry.\nShe was originally charged with Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft, but the theft charge was dropped as part of her plea agreement.\nChuck Cooksey, co-owner of the Ellettsville IGA, said he is confused by the University's apparent lack of action in the case.\n"Where's the penalty?" he said. "Where's the athletic department in all of this? That's my question."\nDoninger said the University has taken action.\n"We have looked at this from the beginning and dealt with it in a very appropriate and internal fashion," he said.\nIn September, the University adopted a code of athletic conduct that says in part that athletes are expected "to exhibit a higher standard of behavior than might be expected of other students … and to avoid conduct that is likely to appear improper."\nDoninger said that code was adopted after Honegger's arrest and after her situation had been addressed inside the department.\nAmy Marie Travis, deputy Monroe County prosecutor, said it is not unusual for people on house arrest to be allowed to continue outside activities.\nShe said the fact that Honegger had no previous criminal record and is a single mother factored in the decision to place her under house arrest.\nHer status on the basketball team did not factor into that decision, Travis said.\nAttempts to reach Honegger and her attorney for comment were not successful.\nIU President Myles Brand was traveling out of state Thursday and was unavailable for comment, a spokesman said.

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