Derrick Washington denies rape allegation in ESPN story

08/22/2014 2:42 PM

08/22/2014 2:43 PM

Former Missouri running back Derrick Washington denied a rape allegation that surfaced Thursday as part of an ESPN “Outside the Lines” story about deficient Title IX reporting practices at MU.

A former female MU student told ESPN that Washington sexually assaulted her during October 2008 in her dorm room.

The woman told police and ESPN that she engaged in several consensual sex acts with Washington, but she said she told Washington to stop when he wanted to have intercourse.

She told ESPN that she tried to push him off, but Washington grabbed her hands, pinned her down as she began crying and said, “No,” repeatedly. She went on to say that Washington told her he’d be kicked off the team if she reported the rape and that he’d kill her and then himself.

Washington said that version of events isn’t true.

“It’s very frustrating, because I thought I had moved on from that and all of this was over with,” Washington, a Raymore-Peculiar graduate, said Friday by phone. “Everything was copasetic, everything was working out for me. I’m actually going to finish my degree and I’m living right, then this comes up.”

Washington admitted having intercourse, but he said after about 30 seconds she told him, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

He said he stopped, but the woman started crying. Washington denied grabbing her wrists or pinning her down, causing bruises or a gash in her neck as alleged in the ESPN story.

A warrant was issued for Washington’s arrest in November 2008, but the Boone County prosecutor’s office declined to press charges. He was ordered not to have contact with the woman and to take rape awareness classes as part of an agreement with the prosecutor’s office.

Washington’s parents, Donald and Sarah, said they discussed the allegations with then-MU wide receivers coach Andy Hill, who is now Missouri’s associate head coach/quarterbacks coach. The woman also told a faculty adviser.

Both Hill and the adviser should have reported the allegation to MU’s Title IX coordinator, triggering an investigation by the university independent of the police investigation.

Washington and the woman said no such investigation occurred.

In a different case, Washington was convicted in September 2011 for felony deviate sexual assault of a former female tutor and sentenced to five years in prison.

Washington, who also pleaded guilty to the third-degree domestic assault of a former girlfiend in September 2010, served four months as part of a first-time offenders program for the deviate sexual assault and had to register as a sex offender. He served 90 days for the domestic assault concurrently.

“The only thing I’m guilty for is I put my hands on my ex-girlfriend, and I did do that,” Washington said. “I pled guilty for that, because I was wrong. I’ve apologized to her several times. That’s what I’m guilty for, but this other stuff is nonsense.”

Washington said he declined to speak to “Outside the Lines,” but he didn’t believe he’d “be given a fair shake” by ESPN.

He also denied punching a former Missouri soccer player in May 2010, another allegation made in ESPN’s report.

Washington said his girlfriend got into a fight with the soccer player at a popular sports bar in Columbia. The fight spilled outside the bar, but Washington said he “just sat there and watched the fight.”

Washington wasn’t disciplined by the Tigers coaching staff after the 2008 rape allegation or the 2010 assault allegation, but he was suspended from the team in August 2010, a few days before he was arrested for the sexual assault he was eventually convicted of.

The soccer player dropped the charges, telling police she was led to believe by her coach, Bryan Blitz, that her scholarship might be in jeopardy if she pursued charges against Washington.

During a teleconference Thursday, MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin denied any wrongdoing by Blitz and said it resulted from a misunderstanding when Blitz indicated her scholarship could be at risk as a result of her arrest for her involvement in the fight with Washington’s girlfriend.

Washington is enrolled at Tuskegee University in Alabama, where he finished his football career in 2012. He is majoring in hospitality management and expects to graduate in May or next summer.

“I’ve already done my time and I’m trying to move on in my life,” Washington said. “I’m trying to better myself, and I’m in a good place right now.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.

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