Judge Signs Warrant for Nebraska RB Washington - NBC Bay Area
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Judge Signs Warrant for Nebraska RB Washington

A Santa Clara Co. Sheriff's Investigator says an attorney representing the Athletic Department was informed of the specific allegations against Washington last fall, and says the attorney questioned why Bay Area law enforcement would pursue the case.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Records Challenge Nebraska's Account of Maurice Washington Case

    A police report obtained by NBC Bay Area seemingly contradicts statements by Nebraska Athletic Department officials this week that they only knew police in California were trying to contact Washington, and little else beyond that. Senior Investigative Reporter Vicky Nguyen reports in a video that first aired on Feb. 13, 2019.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

    A California judge has signed an arrest warrant for Maurice Washington, clearing the way for the Nebraska running back to return to his home state to face charges related to his possession and distribution of a video of his former girlfriend being sexually assaulted by two other people in 2016.

    "We expected this, and were prepared for it," Washington attorney John Ball wrote in an email Thursday. "I have also specifically confirmed that we will continue to move forward with a self-surrender, meaning that Mr. Washington will not be arrested or extradited, and that he will voluntarily appear in court in California."

    Ball also said he is in discussions with the prosecutor about possible resolutions.

    Washington, as first reported by NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit, is accused of obtaining a video of the assault from one of the perpetrators, storing it on his cellphone and sending it to the girl last March. He has been charged with a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of distributing that video without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress.

    Washington was a star at King's Academy in Sunnyvale, California, where he met the girl and the two dated. He later attended high school in Texas.

    The girl told investigators she re-connected with Washington on Instagram early last year and initiated contact to congratulate him for earning a football scholarship. Washington, in Texas at the time, then made sexual advances on the social media platform, the girl said, and he became angry when she replied she was not interested in a romantic relationship.

    On March 2, she said, she received a text with the video and a message that said, "Remember this hoe (sic)?" The girl said she knew it came from Washington because the phone number was the same as the one Washington had when the two were cordial.

    "This is about two young people who were once boyfriend and girlfriend in the eighth grade, and their communications years later," Ball wrote. "Without all the facts, any judgment of anything in this case is premature, and would be based only on speculation and conjecture. Mr. Washington is presumed to be innocent. He will address this case in a court of law, relying on rules of evidence and due process."

    Santa Clara County prosecutor Clarissa Hamilton said from San Jose, California, that one or both of the participants in the alleged assault were prosecuted in juvenile court. The charge or charges were unknown because juvenile records are sealed.

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