Florida International U

Basketball player in coach sex scandal is arrested by FIU on credit card fraud

Florida International University's Destini Feagin (left) gets ready to shoot during a basketball game against the Rice Owls at the FIU Arena on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.
Florida International University's Destini Feagin (left) gets ready to shoot during a basketball game against the Rice Owls at the FIU Arena on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. mocner@miamiherald.com

Former FIU women’s basketball team captain Destini Feagin appeared in Miami-Dade criminal court Tuesday on charges of felony credit card fraud and misdemeanor petit theft, two months after admitting unauthorized use of a teammate’s Athletic Panther Bucks card and making restitution of $347.77.

Feagin, who made her $500 bond and will be arraigned on June 1, is a senior set to graduate May 10. Her accusation of season-long sexual pursuit by first-year FIU women’s basketball coach Marlin Chinn led FIU to fire Chinn in March. At the time, the university said he acknowledged making a $600 loan to Feagin, an NCAA violation.

Monday’s 5 p.m. arrest took Feagin by surprise. She said she’d been under the impression when she returned to campus from New Jersey, where she’s been taking FIU classes online, she would be fingerprinted and go into a pre-trial program. Shortly after her 3 a.m. Monday return, she said her attorney informed her she would be arrested, but would be allowed to turn herself in.

“I could even tell in their voice and their tone that this was their way of getting back at me,” Feagin said of the FIU police detectives who arrested her at Parkview Hall dorm at Florida International University’s Modesto Madique campus.

FIU did not respond to questions, other than to forward the arrest report to the Miami Herald.

“We will have our day in court and I will wait patiently for that,” Feagin’s mother, Joi Nicholson, said Tuesday night.

The arrest affidavit says basketball player Kristian Hudson filed an FIU police report indicating her card had been stolen on Feb. 15. An investigation showed Feagin used the card several times from Feb. 2-10. Nicholson paid $350 to Hudson’s account on Feb. 29.

Feagin was suspended for the final four regular season games after admitting using Hudson’s card to buy food and toiletries.

After her suspension, she recorded a conversation about it with Chinn.

Two days later, she took that recording — on which the newlywed father-to-be can be heard saying, “Married. Kid on the way. Attracted to a woman I have, No. 1, no business being with because I’m coaching her. I’m putting everything on the line because of how I feel about you” — along with text messages dating back to summer 2015 to FIU Athletics Administration. She told them Chinn repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances toward her throughout the season.

The school has not announced a ruling on Feagin’s sexual harassment complaint.

Chinn’s not the first FIU coach or administrator connected with athletics in recent years to face charges of sexual misconduct with student-athletes.

In response to a public records request from The Herald asking for records pertaining to sexual harassment complaints about administrators and coaches, FIU sent over a complaint from a student-athlete alleging four years of harassment by men’s and women’s track coach Eric Campbell. The complaint was dated Jan. 9, 2014, the date The Herald reported Campbell’s departure as a firing. Whether a firing or a resignation, his personnel file contained no notification of it when obtained by The Herald.

FIU fired Student-Athlete Academics Center director Shawn McWashington in November 2009 after Washington, according to the human resources termination letter, “admitted you had engaged in the sexual behavior described in the Equal Opportunity Program report provided to you.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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