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UPDATE: Prosecutors deciding whether to charge Missouri football player Derrick Washington

Friday, August 27, 2010 | 6:24 p.m. CDT; updated 8:55 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 updated with new information as of 5:06 p.m. Saturday. The new information has been marked.

COLUMBIA — Boone County prosecutors are deciding whether to press charges against suspended Missouri football player Derrick Washington.

Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Andrea Hayes, who is handling the legal action for the woman who said that Washington sexually assaulted her, would not reveal specifics about Washington's legal issues. She did acknowledge her connection to the matter.

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"We're a prosecutor's office," Hayes said on Friday. "You can take that for what it's worth, and we have a matter that's under review."

She went on to explain that the prosecuting attorney's office reviews these matters before deciding whether to file charges and if so, what charges to file.

"Generally speaking, we have cases that are under review and then charging decisions are made," Hayes said.

On Thursday night, Hayes would not disclose specific details about the timeline of her involvement. She said only that she had been referred a case on Washington.

Washington's defense attorney, Christopher Slusher of Holder, Susan and Slusher, said he would not comment on Washington's legal situation, nor would he give a specific timeline.

"We'll see how this progresses," Slusher said.

Former Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Scholz said Friday that there was not, to his knowledge, a case on suspended Missouri football player Derrick Washington at the office of the Boone County prosecuting attorney this summer. Scholz, who left his job at the prosecuting attorney's office in August, said that he had heard nothing of the case before his departure.

**When pressed on Saturday, Scholz said that he had actually encountered the legal matter before he left the prosecutor's office.

"It was sent to me, but it was in the process that I was leaving, so it was never mine," Scholz said.

Hayes would not comment on Scholz's Friday statement.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel suspended Washington from the team indefinitely due to disciplinary reasons Thursday. Washington has been accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman on June 19, according to multiple court documents obtained by the Missourian. The MU police department log from that day lists two sexual offenses at 2:26 a.m., with allegations of criminal offense of trespassing in the second degree and deviate sexual assault.

An order of protection, which stated that Washington could not abuse, threaten, stalk, molest or disturb the woman, was issued against Washington three days after the incident, on June 22. It also stated that he could not visit her residence or communicate with her.

Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden confirmed that he has known about Washington's legal matters for "a few weeks."

"I am certainly aware of the situation involving Derrick and the coach's decision to suspend him," Alden said.

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

Missourian reporters Len GoldmanWill GuldinDieter Kurtenbach and Joan Niesen contributed to this report.

 


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Comments

Harold Naegele August 28, 2010 | 4:34 a.m.

With the small amount of information given. One might think this Derrick could be in the same position as Lacrosse team was until they were exonerated by the law. This an possibility that I hope is going to be explored.

(Report Comment)
Dieter Kurtenbach August 28, 2010 | 8:49 p.m.

Harold,
Thank you for your comment.

If I can get patriotic with you for a quick moment, one of the great things about our nation is that everyone — from Joe Q. Public to the starting running back — is innocent until proven guilty. At this juncture, Washington is only alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman. Hayes and the prosecutor's office are still exploring whether to file charges. It is a possibility that no criminal charges are filed against Washington. That said, it would be imprudent and unfair to both parties involved to speculate on whether Washington will or will not be charged. That decision is up to the prosecutor's office, and, as you can tell from the Missourian's interactions, Hayes isn't tipping her pitches.

-Dieter

(Report Comment)

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