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UPDATE: Derrick Washington suspended indefinitely from MU football team

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 9:59 p.m. CDT; updated 8:54 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 28, 2010
Last season, Derrick Washington led the Tigers in rushing for the second straight year.

UPDATE: This story has been update with new information as of 12:03 p.m. The new information has been marked.

COLUMBIA — Derrick Washington, a captain and starting tailback on the Missouri football team, had an order of protection issued against him by Boone County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Schneider in June after he was accused of sexual assault, according to court documents obtained by the Missourian on Thursday.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel suspended Washington indefinitely before the Tigers' Thursday scrimmage.

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MU coach Gary Pinkel had little to say about Washington after Thursday's scrimmage. See the video on the Missourian sports blog.


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Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden confirmed on Thursday he has been aware of Washington's legal situation for weeks and that he supports Pinkel's decision to suspend him.

"I am certainly aware of the situation involving Derrick and the coach's decision to suspend him," Alden said. "(I have known) probably, I think for a few weeks, that there were some things that were being evaluated at that time. "

Alden refused to directly confirm that Washington's suspension and the sexual assault allegations were connected, saying that it is not athletics department policy to comment on suspensions.

In court documents, the woman, who is in her early 20s, alleges Washington sexually assaulted her at about 2:30 a.m. on June 19 at the Campus View apartment complex.

"I was sexually assaulted by him. ... I am pressing criminal charges," she wrote in court documents. "I fear physical retaliation."

The woman continued that Washington entered her room "unprovoked."

The order of protection against Washington was first issued three days later, on June 22. As stated in the court documents, the order meant Washington could not abuse, threaten, stalk, molest or disturb the woman. He was also forbidden from going to her residence or communicating with her.

**The MU police department log from June 19 lists two offenses at the address of the accuser at Campus View Apartments. The log lists two sexual offenses at 2:26 a.m., an alleged criminal offense of trespassing in the 2nd degree and deviate sexual assault.

**Early Friday afternoon, MU Police Department Captain Brian Weimer said his department conducted an investigation into the accusations made against Washington and turned the matter over to the prosecutor's office. He didn't remember when this happened.

A court hearing was scheduled for July 7, but the woman asked for a continuance the day before the hearing. The hearing would have determined whether a full order of protection was to be issued. The order of protection was renewed until the new court date of July 21.

Neither party showed up to the hearing, and the case was dismissed without prejudice. This means that the issue can come before the courts again, according to the Missouri Bar.

Prosecuting attorney Andrea Hayes said only that she had been referred a case on Derrick Washington.

Attorney Chris Slusher said his law firm, Holder, Susan and Slusher, was hired by the Washington family to help them with some issues brought up with the university. He said his firm understood that a matter had been referred to the prosecutor's office, but criminal charges had not been filed.

Slusher refused to comment on the order of protection filed against Washington because he said he had not seen those documents.

Team spokesman Chad Moller would not comment on why coach Gary Pinkel made his decision to suspend Washington on Thursday.

"The extent of everything we have to say has already been said," Moller said after Thursday's football scrimmage, which Washington did not attend.

Pinkel spoke briefly with the media after the scrimmage and was visibly irritated when asked about Washington's legal matters.

"He's indefinitely suspended for disciplinary reasons," Pinkel said. "As usual, as I've done for 10 years, I don't ever talk about those issues."

The indefinite loss of Washington will impact a Missouri team that is eight days away from its first game against Illinois in St. Louis on Sept. 4. Washington ran for more than 1,000 yards his sophomore season and looked poised in preseason practices to rebound from a disappointing 2009 season in which he was hobbled by a knee injury.

The Missourian attempted to reach Washington by phone, but he did not respond.

It is Missourian policy not to identify victims of sexual assault.

Missourian reporters Len Goldman, Will Guldin, Dieter Kurtenbach and Joan Niesen contributed to this report.


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Comments

Walter Lane August 27, 2010 | 6:58 a.m.

So according to the Trib you guys are reporting irresponsibly. I find that funny since you guys actually have more accurate reports than they do. I guess letting us know the truth is irresponsible. Keep up the good work folks. None of this was ever reported over on the Trib.

(Report Comment)
Jaclyn DiPasquale August 27, 2010 | 8:35 a.m.

In the article it said neither party showed up to the hearing. Did either party give a reason for this?

(Report Comment)
Will Guldin August 27, 2010 | 8:57 a.m.

Hi Jaclyn,

I was the reporter for this story who received the court documents and analyzed them. According to a court entry in the case file, neither party showed up for the July 21 hearing. No reason was given. I hope that helps,

Will

(Report Comment)
Shawn Carlson August 27, 2010 | 1:28 p.m.

Okay Will, here is an easy question for you to ask and answer.

Does the MU Police Dept. have enough evidence to take this to the Prosecuting attorney to file charges on?

If so when will they file charges? and If not when will they make that announcement. It's not like it should take this long to figure it all out. Why does it take over 2 months to either file charges or dismiss it all together?

Shawn

(Report Comment)
Shawn Carlson August 27, 2010 | 2:09 p.m.

The more I think about this the more frustrated I get. What I'm looking at is why has it take the MU Police Department over 2 months to investigate and forward it to the Prosecuting attorney?

It should have been handled within 20 hours of the incident. It doesn't take 2+ months to conduct this investigation. You either have the evidence or you don't. If you do you arrest him....if you don't the Prosecutor declines prosecution and it is all over and done with.

And it the University Police cant handle it then they turn it over to the City police. Come on people what is the real story going on here? Are they covering up something or protecting someone?

Get some answers please.

(Report Comment)
Will Guldin August 27, 2010 | 3:47 p.m.

Hi Shawn,

That may be an easy question to ask, but it is far from an easy question to get an answer to. We do know that an investigation was carried out related to these charges. MU Police Department Captain Brian Weimer confirmed this and said it had been sent to the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office.

When we spoke to one prosecutor she said there was a matter they were looking into, but wouldn’t give us any more details. We’re trying to find out more about this, but that’s what we know now.

As for your more general questions, this article written by Roseann Moring might help you gain a little bit more understanding about how the system works. I hope that helps,

Will

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
Shawn Carlson August 28, 2010 | 10:15 a.m.

Nice article Will. But as I am more than aware of how the system “works” and how police departments conduct these types of investigations, it still doesn’t answer the question.

In fact now I have more questions after reading your reply. But it all comes down to what the evidence says! Is there enough hard fact evidence to make a case? Or is it all circumstantial?

We can go on and on about this, but my point is that it doesn’t take this long to conduct an investigation, apply for warrants and have them issued, refused or taken under advisement, article or not.

Shawn

(Report Comment)
Dave Jackson August 28, 2010 | 4:24 p.m.

I get that this story is important, DWash is a great talent.

I do however think that you guys have missed a tragedy in this light. What is going on with Munir Prince? Does he have feeling back in his arms and legs yet? Is he out of intensive care?

I think you need to cover the team, not just one player please.

Thanks.

(Report Comment)
Grant Hodder August 28, 2010 | 6:18 p.m.

Mr. Jackson:

Wanted to let you know you can find updates on Munir Prince on the Missourian sports blog at http://tigersports.columbiamissourian.co...
Prince spent Friday night in the ICU but has been up on his feet.
Our reporters are planning to keep a eye on Prince's progress.

— Grant Hodder, Missourian night sports editor

(Report Comment)
Walter Lane August 29, 2010 | 2:59 p.m.

@Shawn: Real life isn't like Episodes of Law & Order or CSI where they wrap up an investigation in 40-50 minutes. These things take time. And also the detectives/officers, etc. have other investigations going on also. If only it could be so simple as to have them working on 1 investigation at a time but it's not that simple. Some investigations go on for years. It all depends on the information available, witnesses, leads, etc.

(Report Comment)
Earl Parker August 29, 2010 | 3:27 p.m.

Hurray for the MU coaching staff. It's refreshsing to see them take the high road and suspend Washington. You just don't take this type of action unless there is a real reason. I hope this sends a message to all our TIGER athletes that they should play the game -- and life -- by the rules! Hats off to Pinkel and Alden. Glad to see my alma mater has the guts to risk a game or two this year by doing the right thing!

(Report Comment)
carolyn mcmilian September 2, 2010 | 12:02 p.m.
This comment has been removed.

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