Blackhawks prospect status in limbo, accused of Revenge Porn

By Chris Block

Garret Ross was scratched from the Rockford IceHogs lineup this weekend after news spread online of his pending criminal case in DeKalb County.

The Chicago Blackhawks 2012 5th round pick missed IceHogs games Saturday and Sunday after news of the charge surfaced on Twitter and a Chicago sports blog.

Ross, 23, has been accused of one count of Non-consensual dissemination of sexual images, also known as the ‘Revenge Porn’ law.

The law, which only became effective in the State of Illinois on June 1, 2015, is a Class 4 felony, which can carry up to a 1 to 3-year jail sentence.

According to DeKalb County Circuit Court records, the date of Ross’ alleged offense was August 31, 2015.

The news was first broke on Twitter Saturday by Nick Burzych of SportsTownChicago.com.

It was picked up later in the day by the SportsMockery.com site, which led to the Blackhawks pulling Ross from IceHogs games Saturday night and Sunday.  Ross played for Rockford on Friday night in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont.

According to the case docket, the preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 22nd at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore.

After Sunday’s IceHogs game in Rockford, IceHogs coach Ted Dent indicated Ross’ absence from Saturday and Sunday’s lineups were a “coach’s decision.”  I asked that question, and at that point I wasn’t aware of the pending charge facing Ross.

Ross was scheduled to play Saturday as of that day’s morning skate, and was listed on the line charts in the locker room that morning, but was removed from the lineup at some point between then and that night’s warmup skate.

A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed it was Chicago Blackhawks management who ordered that Ross be removed from the IceHogs lineups on Saturday and Sunday.

The Blackhawks also had Ross’ jersey pulled from Sunday’s annual IceHogs game-worn charity jersey auction. This year’s jerseys were Star Wars themed and worn during Sunday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Charlotte Checkers.  Other players scratched Sunday did see their jerseys sold at the auction.

It’s unclear at this point when Blackhawks management knew of the charges against Ross.  The case has been ongoing.  A plea hearing in February was postponed and is now scheduled to take place next Monday.

In 59 games this season, Ross has 7 goals and 13 assists with the IceHogs. He scored 21 goals and 43 total points for the team in 2014-15, his best offensive season as a pro.

Ross is in the final season of his 3-year entry-level contract. He would be a restricted free agent on July 1st.

The Dearborn Heights, Michigan native turned pro in the spring of 2013.  He turns 24 years of age on May 26th.

In 204 career AHL regular season games, Ross has posted 43 goals and 54 assists for 97 points.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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