BY Bob Sherwin 04:50PM 01/31/2011

UW sexual assault case case nears conclusion

The King County prosecutor’s office may decide by next week whether evidence is sufficient to file charges against an unidentified Huskies basketball player.

An investigation into a University of Washington basketball player accused of a Jan. 8 sexual assault against a 16-year-old girl may reach a conclusion by next week.

The Seattle Police Department sent details of incident, including physical evidence, victim and witness statements, to the King County prosecutor’s office last Tuesday. It is up to the prosecutor to determine whether to bring charges.

“The investigation was sent to our office. We have received it,” said Dan Donohue, spokesman for the office. “It’s still under review. No decision has been made yet.”

Donohue added that a decision may come down as early as next week whether to move forward with charges or drop the case for the lack of sufficient evidence.

Until the player is charged, he is unnamed. He has been described as a “prominent” player. The university and UW Coach Lorenzo Romar confirmed the investigation but have offered no further comment on the matter. Romar has said that “we take this seriously.”

The alleged incident took place late Saturday evening after the Huskies’ game against Oregon State. The player, who had previous exchanges with the girl on Facebook, invited her to meet at his sister’s apartment off 23rd Avenue in the Central District. She claimed the sexual assault occurred at the apartment.

After the incident, she called her mother and uncle from a nearby intersection and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she was examined and interviewed by police.

The player has not been disciplined by the university. He has been available for every game since the incident.

In the first game after the investigation was made public, Jan. 13 at Stanford, the Huskies uncharacteristically blew an 11-point second-half lead in a 58-56 loss, their first Pac-10 loss. It ended a six-game losing streak and was the lowest scoring game all season. The Huskies also shot a season-low 36.2 percent.

Sunday in Pullman, Washington State students held up signs and yelled out references to the investigation when the Huskies took the floor. Unable to maintain their usual rhythm, the Huskies lost to the Cougars, 87-80.

* * *

The Huskies’ 87-80 loss to rival Washington State did not dramatically affect their national rankings.

In The Associated Press poll released this afternoon, the Huskies (15-5) dropped from 18th to 20th. They moved from 17th to 19th in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Washington is tied with Arizona (18-4) for first in the Pac-10 with 7-2 records. The Wildcats are ranked just behind the Huskies in each poll, 21st in AP poll and 22nd in ESPN poll.

Washington State earned one vote in the AP poll.


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