The relationship between Derrick Washington and the University of Missouri continues to get more and more disgusting. Nearly four years after the former star running back was charged with deviate sexual assault and turned himself in on August 30, 2010, ESPN's Outside the Lines has highlighted new details that reveal Missouri never opened a Title IX investigation when Washington was accused of rape in 2008.
If you're unfamiliar with this case, Washington was accused of sexual assault on a separate occasion far before he was ever suspended from the team or put into jail. The initial accusation came during his sophomore year, when he went up to a friend's dorm room (the girl only agreed to talk to ESPN if her identity remained anonymous). The two were hooking up, but the girl told him that oral sex was as far as she would go. He proceeded to get on top of her, hold her down, and insert himself into her without her permission. He then threatened her about telling anybody.
"When I was finally able to push him off me, he just kept saying that if I said anything they would kick him off the football team," she told ESPN. "And football was his life, so if I said anything, he would kill me and kill himself."
The girl later visited the student health center and eventually confessed to a women's shelter that Washington had raped her. This is when the University of Missouri failed her and three girls he also hurt in the future. A forcible rape investigation was opened by campus police. Washington acknowledged that what happened shouldn't have happened but that he did not think it was an assault. After questioning, the detective determined that there was enough probable cause to believe a rape happened. Yet, when the prosecution came through, the official report was a "deferred prosecution agreement." That meant that he would not get charged if he agreed to stay away from the girl and take "rape awareness classes." At this point in time, Missouri should have opened a proper Title IX investigation as part of a federal law that states universities must investigate instances of sexual assault on their own terms, completely separate from criminal findings.
No investigation was opened, despite multiple coaches and advisors knowing.
Washington went on to have an outstanding football season and was in the national spotlight as one of the best players in the country. But his poor decisions continued. In 2010, he was in trouble after he punched a Missouri scholarship soccer player in a bar. Again, the University of Missouri made sure this went away quietly. The girl wanted to press charges for third-degree assault. However, Missouri's coach Bryan Blitz told the girl that her scholarship would remain intact as long as she didn't press charges and kept quiet. They did not want this in the news. The girl went back to the police and told them she did not want to press charges.
Just two months later, Washington sexually assaulted his tutor while he was in her apartment (because he was already going to have sex with her roommate). He walked into his tutor's room and stuck his fingers inside of her while she was sleeping. He was arrested and released on bail. Two weeks later, he was arrested for striking his ex-girlfriend multiple times. It is then and only then that he finally left the university.
In 2011, he was sentenced to five years in prison in the sexual assault case against his former tutor. He only served four months and was let out early as part of a first-time offender program. Tuskegee University allowed him to play out his final year of eligibility and he posted good enough stats to draw small interest from the Kansas City Chiefs (unbelievably) and the New England Patriots but was not signed.
Missouri head football Gary Pinkel refused to comment, President Tim Wolfe refused to comment, former Chancellor Brady Deaton refused to comment, Athletic Director Mike Alden refused to comment, and Title IX coordinator Noel English refused to comment. This explains one horrific incident, but this is not isolated. ESPN also discusses a few of what are surely many cases of athlete-related assaults cover-ups. Watch the full report below.
[via ESPN's Outside the Lines]