NewsCrime and Courts


Details released on Griz basketball player accused of strangulation

Posted at 12:27 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 18:12:19-04

UPDATE (8-21-2020, 5:15 PM): MISSOULA -- Naseem Gaskin, 20, appeared in court Friday afternoon facing a felony charge.

Gaskin is charged with felony strangulation of partner and misdemeanor partner or family member assault for allegedly strangling his girlfriend on Wednesday.

Court documents state Missoula police responded Wednesday night to the 300 block of East Front Street to a report of domestic violence.

Jane Doe, the defendant's girlfriend, told police she and Gaskin were fighting over Gaskin's text messages. He allegedly kicked Doe off the bed and the two fought over his phone before he allegedly strangled her.

Doe told police she recalled thinking she might die, according to the prosecuting attorney.

In court on Friday the prosecutor said according to Doe, alcohol was involved, and this was not the first time he tried to strangle her.

Gaskin's attorney said Thursday that Gaskin would likely not be allowed on campus at UM, and asked the judge to allow him to go to California to continue online classes.

Missoula County Justice Court Judge Alex Beal released Gaskin on his own recognizance, without bail. Gaskin will need to fill out paperwork before being allowed to leave Montana.

Gaskin's next court appearance is set for Aug. 31 in Missoula District Court, where he will enter a plea.

Gaskin transferred to UM after spending one season at the University of Utah. He sat out the 2019-20 season due to transfer rules and was expected to be a contributor to the men's basketball team in 2020-21.

UM released a statement Thursday saying Gaskin was suspended from all team activities in accordance with the student-athlete handbook guidelines on Category I violations. According to the handbook and the recently implemented Serious Misconduct Policy set forth by the Big Sky Conference in 2019-20, if a student-athlete is "convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony or misdemeanor" involving serious misconduct, the student-athlete "shall not be eligible for athletically-related financial aid, practice or competition at a Big Sky member institution."

According to the policy, serious misconduct "is defined as any act of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or any assault that employs the use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury."

ORIGINAL (8-21-2020, 12:29 PM): Court documents are revealing more details about what happened the night a Griz basketball player was arrested accused of strangling his girlfriend.

Missoula Police responded to a report Wednesday night of domestic abuse that occurred at an apartment in the 300 block of East Front Street.

When police arrived, Jane Doe -- the defendant's girlfriend -- told police she and Naseem Gaskin were in an argument regarding the defendant's text communication with another person.

During the argument, Doe reported that she and Gaskin were on his bed when he allegedly kicked her out of bed.

In charging documents, Doe told police she stood up, got back on the bed, and took Gaskin's phone, at which point Gaskin pinned her to the bed and put Doe in a chokehold, using the inside of his elbow to strangle her.

She told police she attempted to bite Gaskin and pull his hair, at which point Gaskin grabbed Doe’s neck with one hand and continued strangling her.

Doe described herself as gasping for air while she was being strangled and felt her airway was closed in charging documents.

Doe told police she recalled thinking that she did not want to die while the Defendant was strangling her.

She reported Gaskin retrieved his phone from her and ceased strangling her, at which point Doe left the residence and called the police.

Officers observed significant bruising and scratches to Doe’s neck consistent with finger marks.

Gaskin is charged with felony strangulation of a partner and misdemeanor partner member assault.

He is scheduled to be formally charged in Missoula Justice Court Friday afternoon.