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Former Bull Rick Brunson charged with sexual assault

Rick Brunsplayed for Bulls 2003. | Sun-Times Media

Rick Brunson played for the Bulls in 2003. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 5, 2014 6:32AM

Former Chicago Bulls player and coach Rick Brunson was arrested in Vernon Hills and charged June 25 with sexual assault against a fitness center employee, police said.

According to a police report, Brunson, 42, of Vernon Hills, was charged with attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated battery.

Police responded to a complaint at Lifetime Fitness, 680 Woodlands Parkway, in which Brunson allegedly grabbed an employee. His bond was set at $5,000, but a court date was not announced.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brunson was a candidate to be the Temple Owls’ next assistant coach. He starred at Temple in the 1990s.

He played 17 games for the Bulls during the 2002-03 season and 37 games during the 2003-04 season. The Bulls hired Brunson as an assistant coach in 2010.

Brunson played in the NBA from 1997-2006 and suited up for eight different teams. He averaged 3.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game during his career. Brunson became a coach after his playing career ended and had a similarly nomadic existence.

After serving as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, Brunson was on the coaching staff with the University of Virginia men’s basketball team, the University of Hartford men’s basketball team, the Bulls and, most recently, the Charlotte Bobcats. Brunson was an assistant with the Bobcats during the 2012-13 season.

Brunson is the father of Stevenson standout Jalen Brunson, the nation’s top high school point guard, according to ESPN and is ranked the best player in Illinois. Jalen was a significant contributor on Team USA which recently won the gold medal in the FIBA Americas-sanctioned under-18 basketball championships.

Rick Brunson did not respond to calls for comment.

Jason Thunstrom, vice president of corporate communications for Lifetime Fitness, said the company was cooperating with local authorities and conducting its own internal investigation.

“Ultimately, when it comes to Lifetime, we’re committed to having a safe, fun, family-oriented environment, so all of our policies and procedures are oriented to make sure that’s the case,” he said.

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