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Blackhawks suspend Garret Ross indefinitely 'pending outcome of legal process'

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Ross has been charged with one count of non-consensual dissemination of sexual images in Illinois.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks have suspended forward Garret Ross indefinitely "pending the outcome of the legal process." Ross, a prospect currently assigned to the Rockford IceHogs' roster, was charged in February with one count of non-consensual dissemination of sexual images, commonly known as the "revenge porn" law, in DeKalb County, Ill.

Here's the team's full statement:

"On Saturday afternoon, March 19, 2016, the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs learned of a legal proceeding against IceHogs player Garret Ross. At that time, we excused Garret from team activities pending our preliminary review of the matter. After further review, we have determined to suspend Garret indefinitely pending the outcome of the legal process. Because this is a pending legal proceeding, we will have no further comment at this time."

The most notable aspect of the statement is the team saying that it learned of the legal situation surrounding Ross last Saturday. The forward was pulled from the IceHogs' lineup that day as word spread of the charge, which was filed Feb. 2 after a woman originally made a complaint to police in September.

Ross then turned himself in Feb. 4 and continued playing for the IceHogs until he was finally benched March 19. All of that time, the Hawks and IceHogs apparently were unaware that one of their prospects had been charged with a felony and was awaiting trial.

Non-consensual dissemination of sexual images is a Class 4 felony in the state of Illinois and can carry a prison sentence of one-to-three years and a fine of up to $25,000. A status hearing is set for later this month and a preliminary hearing is set for April 22.

The Hawks had drafted Ross in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. He is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.