- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A suspended University of Illinois softball player has apologized for damaging a menorah at the school’s Jewish student center.

In a letter to The (Champaign) News-Gazette, junior Ruby Rivera said she wants to “deeply apologize” and she takes “full-on responsibility” for her actions (http://bit.ly/1PFmks8 ). She also said there was “at no point any disrespect or malice meant towards any community or religion.”

One arm of the aluminum menorah at the Chabad Jewish Center was found broken Feb. 7. It was the third time in the past year that the menorah had been vandalized.

Rivera wrote that the incident happened during “a night out,” which she said wasn’t “meant as an excuse, but more of an explanation” of her actions. She said she is “willing to pay the cost for the damages that I caused.”

“Once again, I did not intend to make people feel hurt, concerned or nervous for my actions that took place (that) Sunday morning,” Rivera wrote.

She is scheduled to appear in court later this month on a tentative charge of criminal damage to property. No official charges have been filed.

Rivera was indefinitely suspended from the softball team.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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