ESPN report says MU mishandled assault cases

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 2:46 p.m. CDT; updated 11:59 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Derrick Washington shown in a courtroom in September 2011. Washington was found guilty of deviate sexual assault and pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. An ESPN Outside the Lines report identifies two additional allegations against the former Missouri football player and says MU mishandled the investigation of the incidents.

COLUMBIA — An ESPN "Outside the Lines" report released Thursday titled, "Athletes, assaults and inaction" says MU failed to act on information and address several alleged assaults committed by former Missouri running back Derrick Washington.

The report also says that a Missouri soccer coach talked a Missouri soccer player out of filing an assault charge against Washington after an incident that occurred on May 6, 2010, in a Columbia bar, where Washington allegedly punched the soccer player.

The soccer player, who is not identified in the report, told ESPN a coach said that her scholarship could be at stake if she were to press charges against Washington.

At Missouri, Washington was involved in "one alleged rape, one alleged physical assault, one sexual assault and one domestic assault," according to ESPN.

ESPN will air the full report at 8 a.m. Sunday but made the story available online Friday.

The chronology, according to ESPN, is as follows:

The first incident took place in October 2008. Washington was reported to have raped a sophomore student in her MU dorm room.

The second incident came in May 2010 when the aforementioned soccer player said Washington punched her at a bar.

The third incident took place in June 2010, when a 2009 MU graduate and former tutor, Teresa Braeckel, reported that Washington entered her bedroom in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her. He was dismissed from the Missouri football team in September of that year.

The fourth and final incident came three months later, when Washington was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

The June 2010 incident resulted in a conviction of deviate sexual assault in 2011. Washington was sentenced to five years in prison but served a 120-day shock sentence. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in the attack of his ex-girlfriend and served a 90-day sentence concurrently with the shock sentence. The background of those cases is available here.

In a statement to ESPN, MU Chancellor Bowen Loftin said "the University of Missouri System and our campus in Columbia, have evaluated and reviewed our policies and resources related to sexual assault and mental health. As a result of this review, we have instituted sweeping changes."

New attention was brought to how MU and the UM System handles Title IX cases in January when ESPN reported on the suicide of Sasha Menu Courey, which occurred about 16 months after she was allegedly assaulted by one or more football players. A Missourian report looked at what Title IX is and the responsibilities of reporting.

In early April, UM System President Tim Wolfe issued Executive Order 40, which would require all UM System employees — excluding those bound by confidentiality such as health care providers, counselors and lawyers — to report all known information about sexual harassment or assault of a student to the Title IX coordinator.

The UM Board of Curators also approved rule changes regarding Title IX in June.

Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.

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