UW basketball player won't face felony charge in alleged assault
The King County Prosecutor's Office will not file felony criminal charges against a member of the University of Washington men's basketball team accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl last month.
Seattle Times staff reporters
A University of Washington men's basketball player accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl last month will not be charged with a felony crime, the King County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.
The case will now be referred to the Seattle City Attorney's Office to determine whether a misdemeanor charge of providing alcohol to a minor is warranted.
"After completing a thorough investigation into an allegation that a University of Washington Husky basketball player sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, the Seattle Police Department referred the matter to the King County Prosecutor's Office after concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges," the prosecutor's office said in a written statement in regard to any felony charges. "The King County Prosecutor's Office has conducted its own review and has reached the same conclusion."
The player had been under investigation since the incident allegedly occurred Jan. 8. Police submitted a report to the prosecutor's office, which spent the past few weeks reviewing the case before reaching its decision.
The Seattle Times is not naming the player because he has not been criminally charged.
The prosecutor's office, in its statement, noted that it does not typically name the parties involved in a case that is declined for filing.
The prosecutor's office said the decision to not file felony charges was based on its review of statements by witnesses, including a 16-year-old friend of the complaining witness, and two other men who were present in the apartment.
Witnesses told police the girl contacted the basketball player through Facebook and then later in person, the statement added.
The basketball player met the girl and her friend downtown, and then allegedly purchased liquor for them on the way to the apartment, according to the statement. The statement said both young women consumed alcohol in the apartment.
Then, according to the statement, witnesses described consensual sexual contact.
The age of consent for a sexual relationship in Washington state is 16.
"A charge of Rape in the Third Degree requires proof that a victim clearly expresses a lack of consent by words or conduct," the statement said. "Evidence does not exist in this case to support a charge of Rape in the Third Degree. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed."
The statement said the case has been referred to the Seattle City Attorney's Office for consideration of the filing of charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor.
City Attorney spokeswoman Kimberly Mills said in a written statement Friday that two attorneys in her office are reviewing the case.
"We don't look at only one charge; we look at what could fit the situation," Mills said.
Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
The University of Washington referred questions to the Seattle City Attorney's Office and the King County Prosecutor's Office and issued the following statement:
"The department of intercollegiate athletics has learned that the King County Prosecutor's Office has declined to file felony charges against a UW men's basketball player accused of sexual assault. In deciding not to file felony charges, the Prosecutor has sent the case to the Seattle City Attorney's office to consider whether to file any misdemeanor charges. Since the case is still working its way through the local judicial system, the university will not be commenting on the matter."
It's unclear whether the university is conducting its own investigation.
According to the police report filed Jan. 9, the 16-year-old girl and her friend were with the player and a group of his friends at a Central Area apartment belonging to the player's sister. There, according to the report, the girl said the player forced her to perform a sex act on him.
The girl said the assault continued even after she told the player "no."
She later left and called her uncle and mother to pick her up. The police report says the girl was taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or email@example.com
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
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