LAWRENCE, Kan. — Former Kansas basketball player Silvio De Sousa allegedly caused damage to a man’s eye after hitting him outside of a Lawrence bar.
De Sousa was charged with aggravated battery in the incident.
According to court documents, De Sousa and two women were arguing outside of Brothers Bar in Lawrence in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
The victim told investigators that he walked outside the bar to cool off and witnessed the argument before telling the man, identified as De Sousa, to “Shut the (expletive) up.”
The victim then said that De Sousa hit him, causing damage to his left eye. The victim underwent surgery to try and repair his eye, but doctors have said he will not regain his vision.
The man’s legal guardian told police that he suffers from Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which falls under the Autism umbrella. The guardian also told police that the damage to the man’s eye was so severe that they are considering prosthetics for his left eye.
According to the affidavit, witness accounts backed up the man’s version of events.
De Sousa provided a statement to police on Oct. 14. De Sousa allegedly said that he and some friends were waiting outside to order an Uber and leave Brother’s Bar when the victim became verbally abusive to one of his friends.
De Sousa allegedly told investigators that the man said, “Shut the (expletive) up.” That’s when De Sousa said he swatted at the man once and missed. He said that the man again said something derogatory and he swatted at the man again and struck him in the right cheek.
Two days after De Sousa’s statement to police, KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self announced that De Sousa was opting out of the upcoming season to “focus on matters in his personal life.”
At the time, Self added that it became clear in recent workouts that de Sousa was distracted, and after the two of them talked recently, “it was clear this was the best decision for him and Kansas basketball to leave the program.”
De Sousa is first scheduled to appear in court Dec. 17.